Mraz suffered fatal head injuries when he was run over by a 1992 Dodge Dakota at a container terminal on April 13, 2004. Both sides said he had left the truck running without setting the parking brake, but they differed on who was to blame for the accident. Attorneys for Mraz’s wife and family argued that a defect in the truck’s automatic transmission caused it to appear to be in the park position when it actually was between gears, and slipped into reverse after Mraz got out. They argued that the automaker had received more than 1,000 “park-to-reverse” complaints involving 1988 through 2003 Dakotas. The company issued a recall in 2000 but it was for repairs that failed to fix the problem, contended Charles Naylor, an attorney for the family. “The recall is phony. It didn’t work. There are people out there, lots of them … their cars will still malfunction,” Naylor said Friday. The jurors found that DaimlerChrysler was negligent in the truck’s design and for failing to warn consumers.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A jury found that DaimlerChrysler must pay about $54 million to the family of a longshoreman who was killed by a Dodge truck that backed over him at the Port of Los Angeles, attorneys said Friday. A Superior Court jury awarded damages to the family of Richard Mraz, 38, of San Pedro in a negligence and product liability suit. The panel awarded $50 million in punitive damages on Wednesday. It awarded $5.2 million in compensatory damages on March 2, of which DaimlerChrysler was to pay about $4 million, although the specific figure must still be decided. The company said it is considering an appeal.
26 May 2014 South Africa joined the rest of the continent in commemorating Africa Day on Sunday. Africa Day, held on 25 May each year, marks the anniversary of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now known as the African Union (AU), by 32 governments in 1963. Twenty other nations gradually joined the founder states over time. South Africa became the 53rd member of the AU on 23 May 1994. Since its inception, the African Union has advocated for enhanced cooperation and unity of the continent. “This has manifested in a shared commitment towards inclusive economic growth for Africans in the continent,” the South African government said in a statement on Sunday “The AU has also been at the forefront in finding solutions to poverty and famine. It has stood firm in the defence of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member states, while striving to promote international cooperation and eradication of any form of colonisation and terrorism.” Many African countries, including South Africa, owe their independence from colonialism in large part to the efforts and solidarity of the OAU. Through its efforts, apartheid South Africa was expelled from the United Nations and remained isolated internationally until 1994, when the first democratically elected government came into power. “All Africans should be rightly proud of the strides that have been made since the formation of the Organisation of African Unity 51 years ago,” Phumla Williams, the Acting CEO of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), said on Sunday. “The continent’s focus has changed from liberation to development, integration and socio-economic growth. Africa’s economic growth is on track and has in many cases surpassed the global average.” Despite these strides, however, the continent faces huge challenges in ensuring food security and finding ways to combat climate change. “South Africa congratulates our African counterparts for rising up to the challenges of the 21st century with vigour and determination so that a better life can be created for all the people of the continent,” Williams said. She added that South Africa joined the rest of the continent and the world in condemning the recent “cowardly acts of terrorism in Nigeria … We call for the immediate release of the 276 girl children who were abducted by Boko Haram, and join the world in the call to bring back our girls.” Source: SAnews.gov.za