Burns and Wilcox News

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Property Owner Sued Over Fatal Shooting at Apartment Complex

Earlier this month, the parents of Jonathan Swierski, a 20-year-old man fatally shot last July in the parking lot of his apartment complex in Matthews, North Carolina, filed a lawsuit against the complex’s property management company, Highmark Residential LLC, citing “negligent security” as a factor in their son’s tragic death. The altercation that led to…

Overturned Tanker Truck Spills 5,000 Gallons of Hazardous Material, Prompts Evacuation

Several homes were evacuated on February 3 after a semi-truck tanker overturned near Williamsburg, Kentucky and leaked 5,000 gallons of highly flammable butyl acrylate onto the railroad tracks below. Several agencies responded to the incident, including a hazmat crew to clean up the strong-smelling irritant. While officials reported the risks of the chemical spill spreading…

Election Results Delayed Due to Alleged App Failure

A smartphone app marred by alleged technical and design flaws is being blamed for a days-long delay in reporting results from the February 3 Iowa U.S. presidential election caucus. The backup, which caused widespread confusion among voters and Democratic presidential candidates, has been linked in part to an app developed by Shadow, Inc. for the…

$5.5 Million Awarded After Senior Living Facility Incident

On January 15, a Los Angeles jury awarded $5.5 million to the daughter and guardian of an 89-year-old woman who suffered a devastating fall while residing at AvantGarde Senior Living in Tarzana, California. Sherrill Phillips had mild dementia when she moved to the facility in June 2018; following a July 2018 fall in which her…

97,000-Plus Gallons of Wine Spill in California, Toxic Chemicals Ooze onto Michigan Highway

More than 97,000 gallons of cabernet sauvignon were spilled on January 22, when a door malfunctioned on a blending tank at Rodney Strong Vineyards in Healdsburg, California. The winery estimated roughly half the wine spilled was captured, recovered or contained within the winery; the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services estimated roughly 20 percent of…

Millions on Flood Watch Following Winter Storms

A powerful storm system that tore through a massive swath of the U.S. on January 11 and 12 was responsible for the tragic loss of 11 lives, cutting off power to hundreds of thousands of households and putting more than 20 million Americans under flood watch. The deadly storms in the South and Midwest brought…

Hackers Access Home Security Cameras, Alarm and Harass Families

An 8-year-old girl from Desoto County, Mississippi experienced a terrifying ordeal last month when a hacker accessed a Ring security camera in her bedroom. The girl was playing in her room when an eerie song came through the camera’s speaker, followed by a man’s voice identifying himself as Santa Claus and encouraging her to “destroy”…

6 Action Steps to Support Your New Year’s Resolutions

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions? According to a YouGov poll, the top personal New Year’s resolutions for 2019 were to exercise more, adopt healthy eating habits, and save more money. Business leaders commonly resolve to improve efficiency, update technology or facilities and reduce their carbon footprint. Whatever your resolutions for 2020, the odds…

Mitigate Elf Mischief Risks This Holiday Season

Broken light fixtures, dented drywall, syrup-coated appliances—these are classic examples of holiday magic gone wrong. With the season in full swing, more and more homeowners are waking up each morning to a new dose of destruction brought by a well-intentioned but sometimes overzealous houseguest: the Elf on the Shelf. What began in 2005 as a…

Apartment Building Catches Fire Twice in Less than 48 Hours

A 16-unit apartment building was decimated and all 50 of its residents displaced after two fires broke out within 30 hours of each other at the Spring Hill Apartments complex in Goose Creek, South Carolina. While no one was injured in the early October blazes, which officials said appeared to be unrelated to one another,…

5 Tips for Safe and Secure Hosting During the Holidays

As the holiday season begins in earnest, we anticipate gatherings of family and friends filled with love, laughter and plenty of food and drink. When hosting such gatherings, make sure that your plans include safeguarding your home and guests against some of the season’s most common mishaps. While you cannot foresee or prevent every scenario,…

Fisher Investments Loses Almost $3.9 Billion in Wake of Its Founder’s Lewd Comments

Fisher Investments, an active equity manager based in Washington, is facing backlash after its founder and executive chairman Ken Fisher reportedly made inappropriate sexist comments during a conference presentation on October 8. Weeks later, clients had pulled over $3 billion in assets from Fisher Investments. To date, 20 institutions have pulled almost $3.9 billion from…

Pacemakers and Other Implanted Devices at Risk of Hacking, Warns FDA

On October 1, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the so-called URGENT/11 cybersecurity flaws that leave certain Wi-Fi-enabled medical devices vulnerable to being remote-controlled by hackers, such as cardiac pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) or insulin pumps. The FDA indicated that devices potentially at risk are those utilizing IPnet, a decades-old software…

NBC Leaders Face Allegations in New Book Detailing Accusations Against Matt Lauer

In his newly-released book, Catch and Kill, former NBC reporter Ronan Farrow recounts previously-unreleased details surrounding rape accusations against Matt Lauer, the former host of NBC’s “Today” show. Farrow provides a revealing, comprehensive account of accusations made by Brooke Nevils, a former NBC employee who maintained that Lauer sexually assaulted her in 2014. Lauer has…

56 Pediatric Patients’ Stem Cells Destroyed in Hospital Freezer Failure

When a storage freezer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) malfunctioned last month, 56 pediatric patients, many undergoing cancer treatment, lost their stem cells. The cells were collected before patients began cancer treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation, and stored for potential future use. Following the incident, CHLA sent notification letters to the affected families, unfortunately…

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: 5 Pivotal Steps to Preparedness

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to disseminate cybersecurity facts, best practices, and promote free resources to make organizations and individuals safer and more secure. Recent cybersecurity threat data is staggering. Symantec’s…

Capsized Vessel Imperils Crew, Damages Millions in Cargo

At 2 a.m. on September 8, the U.S. Coast Guard stationed near St. Simons, Georgia, was alerted that the Golden Ray, a South Korean cargo vessel carrying over 4,000 new automobiles, had begun dangerously inclining to one side, shortly after departing the Port of Brunswick. By late morning response teams had rescued 20 of the…