Scheduled Flights to Cuba Resume After More Than 50 Years

Flag of CubaU.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx was among the passengers aboard the historic flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Santa Clara, Cuba today as JetBlue provided the first regularly scheduled commercial flight from the U.S. to Cuba in 55 years. Scheduled air service from the United States to Cuba is the most recent step in a string of important changes in the normalization of relations between the two nations.  As a result of these changes, which have been previously reported on here, a U.S. embassy was opened, direct mail service has been restored, Carnival cruise line has begun trips to Cuba and various regulatory changes have been made to ease travel, trade and financial transactions with Cuba.

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Should my company self-certify under the EU–US privacy shield?

Data LocksThe European Union and United States differ greatly on law regulating the collection and transfer of personal data. For many years companies could rely upon the U.S.–EU Safe Harbor to lawfully make transatlantic data transfers and bridge the gap between the differing privacy frameworks. But in October 2015, the EU Court of Justice invalidated the U.S.–EU Safe Harbor on the grounds that it did not adequately protect personal data. This ruling jeopardized the continued flow of data from the EU to the United States and left many companies wondering how they could continue collecting and using data from the EU without violating the law.

Husch Blackwell Partner Mindi Giftos covered this topic in further detail on the InBusiness website. Click here to read more.

Terms of Use and Privacy Policy: Your Navigation System in the Ocean of E-Commerce

websitePosting terms of use document on your website or mobile application defines the terms which govern your customer’s use of your website or mobile application and greatly reduce your exposure to liability when providing goods or services through a web-based application. A privacy policy describes to your consumers what information you collect, how you collect it and how you use it.  Posting a privacy policy provides notice to your customers so that they can make an informed decision on whether or not they want to use your web-based application after considering the data you collect and how you use it.

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FAST Act Requirements for Flammable Liquids and Rail Tank Cars

Rail tracksThe U.S. Department of Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a final rule on August 15, 2016 modifying regulations governing trains hauling crude oil and other flammable materials. See 81 Fed. Reg. 53935.  These changes codifiy certain mandates and minimum requirements set forth in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (FAST Act) (Pub. L. No. 114-94), enacted in December 2015.  The full text of the PHMSA rule is available here.

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FAA Publishes Long Awaited Rules For The Commercial Operation of Small UAS

UAS droneThe FAA’s new regulations for the commercial operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (“sUAS”) became effective on Monday August 29, 2016. Specifically, Part 107 to Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations has been added to allow for the routine civil operation of sUAS in the national airspace system. As we previously announced, highlights of the new Commercial UAS Regulations are as follows:

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Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Advisory Bulletin Clarifying Terms Relating to Pipeline Operational Status

oil pipelineIn a Federal Register notice made public August 15, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) issued an advisory bulletin to “all owners and operators . . . of hazardous liquid, carbon dioxide, and gas pipelines, as defined in 49 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 192 and 195” clarifying how pipelines that are no longer in use should be treated. The full text of the bulletin is available here. PHMSA indicated that this advisory is necessary because improperly abandoned pipelines have resulted in pipeline incidents nationwide.

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Be Aware of Recent EPA Enforcement Regarding Form R Threshold Determinations for Electroplating Baths

chemicalsWe have recently become aware of recent EPA action to enforce the reporting obligation contained in Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) that applies to electroplating processes. This enforcement issue is of particular concern to both captive and job shop electroplaters. The EPA’s enforcement position is not a new issue; in fact it was discussed with EPA in the late 1990’s; however, many electroplating facilities, both captive and job shop, are perhaps not calculating and accurately documenting threshold determinations and releases of hazardous substances that may be required to be reported on Form R. Section 313 of EPCRA, and EPA’s implementing regulations at 40 C.F.R. §§ 372.22 and 372.30 require the reporting of releases of listed hazardous substances by the owner or operator of a facility that has 10 or more full-time employees; is covered by certain SIC codes; meets one of the criteria set forth in 40 C.F.R. s § 372.22(b)(1)-(3); and that they manufactured, processed or otherwise used a toxic chemical in an amount exceeding an applicable threshold quantity of that chemical during a calendar year. If a facility is required to report such releases, a toxic chemical release inventory form (Form R) must be submitted to EPA and to the state.

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OSHA Determines Doctor Recommendations Are Medical Treatment

healthcareIn an April 2016 Interpretation Letter recently made publically available, OSHA responded to an inquiry about whether an employee’s self-treatment of wrist pain constituted medical treatment beyond first aid for recordkeeping purposes. The scenario at issue involved an employee who bought and used a rigid wrist brace due to experiencing wrist pain after working at a computer for a number of hours.  Later, when the employee saw a doctor at the occupational health clinic, the doctor determined that the brace was not necessary, but recommended that the employee continue to wear the brace if the employee felt it was relieving his pain.

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Air Safety: The “Deadly” Boeing 727

727 Plane

Photo Credit: Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum

The first generation of jet airliners revolutionized air travel with their speed and comfort when they entered service in the late 1950s. But their takeoff and landing speeds limited them to large airports with long runways, and with four fuel thirsty jet engines their operating costs and efficiency were far from ideal.

The Boeing 727 inaugurated the second generation of American jet transports. Powered by three turbofan engines, it offered the potential for cost-effective jet service to a much wider range of cities with smaller airports that could only handle propeller aircraft up to that time. To achieve this, the 727 relied on an advanced wing design incorporating a sophisticated triple-slotted flap system which effectively increased the wing area by 25 per cent for landings, allowing lower landing speeds as well as the high cruising speeds the public expected with jet travel.

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Product Liability Monitor – August 9, 2016

Product Liability Monitor

August 9, 2016
New Developments
GM’s Ignition Switch Litigation Woes Continue
By Shannon Peters

“Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.” That must be what GM’s executives (and counsel) were thinking when the Second Circuit handed down its recent decision overturning portions of the 2015 Bankruptcy Court decision that could have immunized the “New GM” from “Old GM’s” liability related to the ignition switch recall of 2014. The decision also calls into question the 2009 sale order as a potential violation of the victims’ due process rights. [Continue Reading]

The Hazards of Lithium Ion Batteries
By Alan Hoffman

Lithium ion batteries have been in use for more than two decades, but safety concerns about them have recently attracted a wave of media and regulatory attention. Fires involving the lithium ion batteries of Boeing 787 Dreamliners in January, 2013 resulted in the temporary grounding of the entire 787 fleet. [Continue Reading]

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) in Actions Against Firearms Retailers
By Dan Jaffe

The U.S. District Court of Kansas recently denied a retailer’s motion to dismiss a suit alleging negligent entrustment and knowing violation of federal law in the sale of a firearm based on the pre-emption provisions of the PLCAA. [Continue Reading]

Editor of the Month
Shannon Peters Shannon Petersconcentrates his practice on the areas of product liability, intellectual property, and general commercial litigation as part of the firm’s Product Liability team. He advocates for clients of all sizes, from individuals to corporations, including some of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialty chemicals, petrochemicals, automobile parts, and industrial and consumer products, advising them on negotiations, discovery issues and litigation strategies.
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Product Liability Monitor Archive
July 2016