McDonald’s corporate headquarters is pictured in Oakbrook, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, April 19, 2004.
Credit: Reuters/John Gress
By Jonathan Stempel
Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:14am EDT
(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp has been sued by a woman who said her two-year-old son ate a used condom he found in the play area of one of its restaurants in Chicago.
Anishi Spencer filed the complaint against the fast-food restaurant chain on Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of herself and her sons, Jonathan Hines and Jacquel Hines.
According to the complaint, Spencer and her sons were at a McDonald’s restaurant in Chicago’s South Side on February 4, 2012 when Jacquel picked up the used condom from the floor, and shortly thereafter coughed up a piece of it.
Both boys required medical care, and have suffered lasting injuries, pain and discomfort, the complaint said.
Spencer accused McDonald’s of negligence for failing to clean hazardous debris from the play area, and failing to use appropriate security measures to help uncover “deviant activities.” The lawsuit seeks at least $ 50,000 of damages.
“This is a very disgusting case,” Jeffrey Deutschman, a lawyer for Spencer and her sons at Deutschman & Associates in Chicago, said in a phone interview.
He said he tried to settle, but was unable to do so after having to deal with “layers and layers” of bureaucracy at McDonald’s, which is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.
McDonald’s spokeswomen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Jonathan is now 4 and Jacquel is now 3.
The case is Hines et al v. McDonald’s Restaurants of Illinois Inc et al, Cook County Circuit Court, No. 2013L002625.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
TUESDAY July 17, 2012 — Interferon beta, a widely used treatment for multiple sclerosis, does not stave off the time to disability, new research finds.
However, prior studies have found that interferon beta does reduce MS flare ups, so patients should continue taking it, researchers said.
The new study is published in the July 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In multiple sclerosis, the body’s immune system attacks myelin, or the substance that insulates nerve fibers of the central nervous system. The damage disrupts nerve signals traveling to and from the brain, which can lead to numbness, movement difficulties, blurred vision, fatigue and eventually, problems with thinking and memory.
About 85 percent of those with multiple sclerosis start with a relapsing-remitting course, in which attacks are followed by partial or total recovery, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. More than half go on to develop a more progressive form of the disease, in which symptoms worsen over time and there are fewer, shorter periods without symptoms. Over time, the disease can lead to loss of vision and paralysis.
The study included data on nearly 2,700 multiple sclerosis patients from British Columbia, Canada, with relapsing-remitting MS who were followed for four to 11 years. About one-third of the patients were treated with interferon beta after it became available in the early 1990s and one-third were not treated with interferon beta. The researchers also examined data on a third group of MS patients who were diagnosed and followed before interferon beta was a treatment option.
The investigators found no statistically significant difference in how long it took for patients prescribed interferon beta to become disabled, defined as needing a cane to walk 330 feet.
“We were not able to find a significant association between interferon beta exposure and progression to disability,” said Helen Tremlett, an associate professor of neurology at the University of British Columbia.
Most patients with multiple sclerosis, though not all, develop severe disability 10 to 20 years after diagnosis, according to background information in an accompanying editorial. Several studies have suggested that interferon beta, by reducing relapses, could also prolong progression to disability, Tremlett said. Still other research has found that brain scans of people taking interferon beta show less damage.
Though the exact mechanism of how interferon beta benefits multiple sclerosis patients isn’t fully understood, the drug acts on the immune system and reduces inflammation.
“What the field pretty strongly believed is if you reduced relapse rate, surely that should translate into beneficial impact on disease progression,” Tremlett said. “Subsequent studies seem to indicate there is disassociation between relapses and long-term irreversible disease progression.”
Interferon beta is typically given by injection when people are first diagnosed.
That shouldn’t change as a result of these findings, said Timothy Coetzee, chief research officer for the National MS Society. The new study doesn’t negate prior studies that have found that the drugs reduce the frequency of relapses.
“If patients are taking the existing disease-modifying therapies [such as interferon beta] they should continue to take them,” Coetzee said. “Those drugs were approved for treating MS based on strong clinical trial results that found over a two- to three-year period, people did better with the drugs.”
And the ability of interferon beta to stave off disability remains an open question, he added. A recent study by researchers in Italy found that “disease-modifying” drugs such as interferon were associated with a lowered risk of progressing to a more severe form of multiple sclerosis.
What is clear is that multiple sclerosis is a complex disease with many factors involved in how quickly people progress to disability. Interferon beta’s action may affect one element of the immune system, but there are other aspects of the immune system and other biological processes at work that over time may overwhelm the drug, Coetzee noted.
“We still have a long way to go to understand what are all the variables that contribute to damage to the brain that leads to the symptoms,” Coetzee said. “What we know is there are a lot of players involved in attacking the nervous system of MS patients, that interferon hits some of them, but there are other components of the immune system that get involved.”
Coetzee also noted that the researchers did not have data to measure other aspects of living with multiple sclerosis, such as quality of life, thinking skills, vision and other sorts of mobility other than walking.
There was some back and forth with the initial free version 1.0.1 of JetAudio on the Play Store – some people saw it in the store, others didn’t (not depending on hardware compatibility). We suspected it was some region-specific restriction Google or Cowon was pulling there.
It turns out, it might very well have been some legal issue between Cowon and BBE Sound Inc. instead. The updated free version 1.0.2 and the now available paid version of JetAudio do not feature BBE and BBE ViVA sound enhancements (read the article below for my gushing about how nice they sound). Being basically the main selling point of the application, this does come as a bit of a shock. There is no explanation about the removal on the Play Store, on Cowon’s JetAudio website, or anywhere else – BBE simply disappeared from the screenshots, and it isn’t mentioned in the changelogs either.
This is not the way to communicate, Cowon – we could really do with an explanation as to what is going on. As it is now, I would not be willing to pay EUR 1.50 for the player when it lacks its main feature over competing audio players. You should really fix your licensing issues (or whatever it is) with BBE and explain to your customers what is going on there.
As you can imagine however, this building material could cause problems for builders due to the fact that hemp is illegal under federal law. That’s why it’s just starting to catch on here and has been used extensively in Europe.
Throughout Europe, the use of hemp for construction purposes has spread across many countries. “We got started about three years ago and I was looking for sustainable building products, Hemp Technologies co-founder David Madera told GOOD Design. [Co-founder Greg Flavall] was in Europe, found Hempcrete and we basically did a tour of Europe and looked at everything that they had done in the U.K., France, Belgium, and Switzerland. We did our first seminar in 2009, and it was the most important thing that helped promote it.”
The fact that hemp is illegal in any form is ludicrous and proves that prohibition has nothing to do with health or kids and everything to do with profits for a group of corporations. Hemp cannot get you high and is a better material for a wide range of applications, including making paper and clothing.
Little by little the walls of prohibition crumble under the weight of their own lack of logic.