Are Unpaid Internships Legal?

office desk by Flickr user Sean MacEntee, licensed by Creative Commons

                       Looks about right

Internships offer college students and recent graduates a valuable way to gain experience in their fields of study. Regardless of how educational internships may be, they can be incredibly frustrating if they require the students to work for free.

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Colorado Man Wins $7.2 Million From Popcorn Fumes

Nothing like a buttery bowl of popcorn and a movie, right?  This is no longer the case for Wayne Watson from Denver, who developed a lung disease similar to bronchitis after inhaling the fumes from his microwavable bag of popcorn he had eaten regularly.  Wayne Watson settled with Gilster-Mary Lee Corp., The Kroger Co. and Dillon Companies Inc. for $7.2 million dollars for the damages to his lungs caused by the toxic buttery smell.  He won the lawsuit based on non-existent warning labels for diacetyl, an ingredient found in popcorn that gives the snack flavor.  Diacetyl, is linked with certain health conditions and is found in popcorn, margarine, and many baked goods.  It is even sometimes used to for bug repellent, good thing we are eating it.

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Women Seeking Relief from Menopause Get Breast Cancer

Hot flash, by Flickr user "pennstatelive", licensed via Creative Commons.Hot flashes, night sweats, abnormal periods, and breast cancer: everything a woman can look forward to during menopause.  That is, if the woman was prescribed Prempro, a drug designed to relieve menopause symptoms.  Ten thousand women have sued Pfizer for overemphasizing the benefits of Prempro and failing to advise customers of the risks.  Pfizer has already settled with 6,000 women for $896 million since 2006 and has put aside $330 million for the remaining 4,000 women who have filed suit.

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Anthrax Settles With Ex-Singer, Shreds Original Request

Scott Ian rockin so hard, from Flickr user "LaSombra", licensed via Creative CommonsScott Ian, Rhythm Guitarist/Lead Beard Enthusiast

Anthrax members Charlie Benante, Frank Bello, and frequent VH1 panelist Scott Ian found themselves caught in a mosh in 2009 when Dan Nelson sued the group for some inaccurate statements they made after his departure from the band.  The band  published that an illness had caused the singer to leave and the band to cancel an upcoming concert tour.  Nelson pursued a $2.65 million lawsuit to refute Anthrax’s “intentional defamation” and collect lost royalties.  ”I was never seriously ill or sick at all, as reported in Anthrax’s 7/17/09 press release,” said Nelson. “This statement misled fans, friends, and family members into believing that I was seriously ill when I was not.”  To settle the suit, Nelson was offered a confidential, yet “fairly small”, monetary amount and was given co-writing credit on 11 of the 14 songs on the band’s 2011 release Worship Music.

 

Oil Refiners Settle “Hot Fuel” Lawsuit

Oil Refinery in Nova Scotia, from Flickr user Iguanasan, licensed via Creative Commons“Hot Fuel” sounds like the title of an awesome action movie.  I’m thinking Speed meets Under Siege, set on an oil tanker.  I’m kind of upset that the phrase is wasted on a much more boring concept.  Nevertheless, oil refineries recently heard “hot fuel” as often as they’ll ever want to after getting bitchslapped in the courtroom by science.  They’ll have to pony up $21.6 million total to resolve claims in this hot fuel suit, with the money to be divided between the 50 retailers across the country who brought charges against them.  So what is this “hot fuel” garbage, anyway?

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