Paul Edlund

Attorney at Law

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Minneapolis Moves Forward With Police Body Cameras

Police body camsSlowly but surely, police body cameras are making their way into more police departments across Minnesota and the United States. Monday, the city of Minneapolis joined the movement by approving a $170,000 pilot program to equip 36 police officers with body cameras.

While the move will only outfit a small percent of officers, the pilot program is just the start of what the Minneapolis City Council hopes will be a major expansion over the next few years. The city has pledged an additional $1.1 million to the program beginning in the fall of 2015, but the council hopes to work out any potential kinks in the meantime.

To start, the 36 officers will be equipped with a camera in one of two locations: on their chest or attached to their eyeglasses. The city council wants to see which method is better at capturing video and less cumbersome for the officers. The pilot program will be evaluated each step of the way, with larger reports coming at a six-and nine-month intervals. It’s not certain when the police will begin wearing body cameras, but the city council is expected to hammer out the rest of the details by the end of the week

Minneapolis Follows Suit

Minneapolis is following in the footsteps of Duluth and Burnsville, who were among some of the first departments nationwide to adopt police body cameras, and the movement is gaining traction. Activists in Denver and New York City are demanding that the departments equip their officers with cameras, and the Michael Brown incident in Ferguson, Missouri, only strengthened the support of body cameras.

I believe the pilot program will be successful and the city will look towards outfitting the entire force in the coming years. All it takes is one prevented lawsuit against the city to offset the cost of the cameras. It will be interesting to monitor the program as it gets going in the coming months.

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Honda Expanding Product Recall For Airbag Defect

Air Bag RecallHonda has expanded its recall to three million vehicles after learning that a defective inflator could cause the airbag to explode during a car crash.

According to a press release, the propellant inside the inflation device may be too powerful, and it could cause the device to explode during certain impacts. Instead of hitting a air filled sac, drivers could receive a face full of metal.

The inflator device was produced by Takata Corporation, which also provides equipment to Toyota, Ford and Chrysler. Takata noted that cars driven in high humidity may also be more susceptible to blowout, and they urge drivers in Hawaii, Florida and Puerto Rico to see if their car falls on the recall list.

The List

Honda listed 10 vehicles that were affected by the recall. Check out the full list below to see if your car is on the list:

  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord V6
  • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
  • 2001-2007 Honda Accord, 4-cylinder
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL and CL
  • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2002-2006 Honda CR-V
  • 2003-2006 Acura MDX
  • 2003-2007 Honda Pilot
  • 2003-2011 Honda Element
  • 2006 Honda Ridgeline

A Honda spokesperson said the product recall would affect about three million vehicles in the United States.

Paul Edlund comments

The goal of recalling a defective product is to prevent a potential lawsuit. The problem is, most companies don’t realize something is wrong with their product until it is too late, as Honda certainly never would have mass produced these vehicles if they knew their was an issue with the airbag inflator.

Obviously not all testing situations can be accounted for, but this problem seems like it should have been caught long before it was. I don’t know if anyone suffered injuries due to the defective piece, but fixing the problem on three million vehicles is going to come with a heavy price tag. Then again, a class action lawsuit by victims could prove much more damaging to Honda’s bottom line and their reputation.

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