Archive for November, 2007

Eco-friendly Rockefeller Christmas Tree

In the spirit of “launches” today, the recently unveiled Rockefeller Christmas tree is sporting some new “green” this year.

The 84 foot Norway Spruce has gone eco-friendly and is adorned with five miles of energy saving lights. Specifically, there are 30,000 LED (light emitting diode) bulbs on the worlds most famous Christmas tree. And amazingly, powering the 30,000 lights are 363 solar panels atop of 45 Rockefeller Plaza.

This year’s earth friendly switch will result in a per day energy savings of 2213 kilwatt hours. That takes the famous tree from 3510 kilowatt hours to 1297. This daily savings is enough energy to power a 2,000 square foot home for one month!

The tree will also be recycled into lumber to be used for Habitat for Humanity projects in New York, the Gulf Coast, India and Brazil.

According to Mayor Bloomberg, the tens of millions of New Yorkers and tourists who see the tree this year will hopefully “…see an example of green leadership which may inspire them to make greener choices in their own lives.”

To view the articles reviewed and utilized for this posting, please visit NBC, WTOP, Green Daily and Treehugger.


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peacock republic launches

Although unrelated to anything legal (unless you are me braving the often rough waters of a new company) I wanted to share the launch of our website. Please visit here to view the site.

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couture couture. sustainability is chic.

Please view my guest column today on green/organic issues and their nexus with fashion.

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Cheesburger Bill Burned

As a follow up to yesterday’s post on McDonald’s, I thought everyone would be interested to know that Pelman ex rel. Pelman v. McDonald’s Corp. (the lawsuit involving the two children) is still alive after surviving several rounds of dismissal. On September 17, 2006 McDonald’s motion to strike and dismiss the amended complaint in its entirety was denied. Litigation is still pending.

This comes almost one year after the Cheeseburger Bill faltered. The Cheeseburger Bill, other wise known as H.R. 554 [109th]: Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act of 2005, was designed to prevent legislative and regulatory functions from being usurped by civil liability actions brought or continued against food manufacturers, marketers, distributors, advertisers, sellers, and trade associations for claims of injury relating to a person’s weight gain, obesity, or any health condition associated with weight gain or obesity. This Bill passed in the House but never became law (at the end of each session of Congress all proposed bills and resolutions that haven’t passed are cleared from the books). (more…)

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McDonald’s Fries
From burned trousers to plus size trousers, we have seen an array of food based litigation concerning the fast food industry.

The landmark case in food based litigation against McDonald’s occurred in 1994 when Stella Liebecks suffered 3rd degree burns and a seven day hospital stay after being burned with the fast food chain’s coffee. Attorneys for McDonald’s refused any settlement offers and then the jury found them liable for 2.7M in punitive damages alone. On appeal, the judge reduced the amount of punitives to 480k.

Fast forward to 2002 when Caesar Barber filed a class action law suit in New York against McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Kentucky Fried Chicken- the first of its kind. He claimed eating regularly at the restaurants made him obese. He also asserted that the failure of these establishments to warn him of health risks associated with regular consumption caused him to suffer 2 heart attacks and diabetes. His attorney, Samuel Hirsch, discontinued the litigation in 2003 because he thought he had a much better chance at a suit involving children.

Those children were Jazlyn Bradley and Ashley Pelman. At 19 years old, Jazlyn weighed 270 pounds at 5-foot-7. Ashley, at only 14 years of age weighed 170 pounds at 4-foot-10. (more…)

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Veg Lawyer wishes everyone, veg or not, a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Veg Lawyer cooked up an array of vegan dishes including the apple stuffed squash above.  For dessert- vegan raspberry cheesecake!

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Well, not exactly, but an inundation of pending lawsuits in the United States and Europe could set judgment landmarks for companies that emit greenhouse gases.

We have all seen the legal consequences on big name tobacco and asbestos companies for harming consumers with cigarettes and insulation. Now, in an article written by James Kanter, we may see companies responsible for emitting greenhouse gases pay up for contributing to dangerous levels of global warming.

One of the U.S. cases, led by lead attorney Gerald Maples, involves Hurricane Katrina victims. They are suing dozens of companies, including ExxonMobil and Duke Energy, on the grounds that these companies’ emissions directly contributed to global warming, which in turn raised the temperature of seawater in the Gulf of Mexico and intensified the strength of the hurricane. Maples states he can precisely identify how much carbon these companies have pumped into the air. His claims against oil and coal companies include conspiracy for funding misinformation about the reality of global warming, conducting activities that led to saltwater and hazardous materials entering plaintiffs’ properties and damages for loss of business and emotional distress.


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