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General Mills' new legal terms makes it difficult to sue

Tennessee residents may be interested to know that General Mills, a corporation that owns Nature Valley and some cereal brands, has a new legal policy for those who use coupons on their products. Under the new terms, if a consumer uses a coupon, they lose their right to sue the company.

This is a policy known as "forced arbitration." Over the years, it has become increasingly popular among large corporations who use these tactics to keep consumers from banning together in order to sue. General Mills, for example, has settled several lawsuits at a high cost in recent years for false advertising. In 2012, they reportedly settled a lawsuit for marketing a product that did not contain strawberries even though the label suggested it did.

2 die in car accident on major Tennessee highway

The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports that a three-car accident in Hamblen County during the morning hours of April 7 claimed the life of two motorists and left one injured. After an initial car crash involving two vehicles, a third vehicle, a tractor-trailer, struck a vehicle that had been disabled due to the original accident.

According to reports, the stalled car was parked in the north lane of the highway in a crosswise position. Two passengers and the driver were inside the car when the tractor-trailer truck crashed into the left side of the vehicle where the driver, a 29-year-old Morristown man, was seated.

Driver in custody after fatal hit-and-run accident

A 59 year-old Tennessee man lost his life after being injured in a hit-and-run accident on March 29. Sources indicate that the female driver accused of causing the fatal accident was taken into custody, and she is expected to appear in court in April for multiple charges.

The incident occurred in the Orange Mound area when the 21-year-old female driver of a Chevrolet Malibu was traveling on Deadrick Avenue by Hugenot Street. According to reports, the woman reportedly borrowed the car from another friend. Police say that the woman drove off the road and then struck the man who was on the sidewalk at the time of the accident. The vehicle then pushed the man through a yard before he was dragged back onto the street. The 21-year-old allegedly left the scene of the crash without calling police to inform them of the accident.

Trucker found to be at-fault in Tennessee accident

A semi-truck driver who caused a multi-vehicle accident was found guilty of misdemeanor charges. Two passengers of a vehicle involved in the accident died from their injuries.

The accident happened in June of 2013 in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 24 at the South Church Street exit. Traffic had slowed because of a fender-bender, and there was an increase in traffic volume because of the Bonnaroo music festival. According to a state trooper who responded to the accident scene, when he arrived, he found an overturned semi-truck and several other damaged vehicles. Two young people who had driven down from Indiana to attend Bonnaroo, a 25-year-old woman and her 28-year-old boyfriend, died as a result of injuries suffered in the truck accident.

Suspected Tennessee hit-and-run driver taken into custody

Tennessee police have recently detained a man who fled the scene of an accident that killed a 41-year-old motorcyclist. The fatal accident occurred in August 2013, but police did not locate the driver until March 2014.

The motorcyclist died at the scene of the accident after a black SUV struck him at the intersection of Elm Street and Lane Parkway-Colorado Boulevard on Aug. 31, 2013. The driver of the SUV did not stop and continued to drive on Old Nashville Dirt Road. A witness attempted to follow the SUV but was unable to do so when the SUV driver reached a dangerous speed. However, the witness was able to provide police with a partial license plate number.

Questions remain about GM's liability for fatal auto accidents

Tennessee drivers may be interested in the story of one local family dealing with the tragic death of one member that may have been caused due to a defective vehicle part. The car model that the victim was driving is now part of a large recall instituted by the carmaker.

In October 2009, a 20-year-old Tennessee man was killed in a car accident in his 2006 Chevy Cobalt, which is one of the vehicle models recalled by General Motors due to a faulty ignition switch. Reports indicate that the problem can lead to someone losing control of the vehicle if the key moves to the accessory position. The recall has been connected with 12 deaths, although some believe that more will be revealed as investigations continue.

Motorcycle rider dies in accident in front of Tennessee Walmart

On March 8, a 23-year-old Kingsport man was killed while riding his 1998 Kawasaki motorcycle south on Fort Henry Drive just after 12 p.m. He approached the intersection of Atoka Lane and Fort Henry Drive directly in front of the Walmart store and had a green light. A 2011 Hyundai Sonata driven by a 53-year-old Blountville woman was heading north, reached the intersection with the green light and allegedly made a left turn into the Walmart parking lot directly in front of the oncoming motorcycle, according to the Kingsport Police Department.

According to the press release, the motorcycle and its rider went airborne when they hit the Hyundai's passenger rear door, and the car burst into flames. The fire was reported to probably have been caused by the motorcycle's ruptured gas tank. Sullivan County EMS personnel took the driver of the car to Holston Valley Medical Center with injuries that were deemed to not be life-threatening, but the motorcycle rider died on the way to the hospital.

Man dies after manufacturing plant explosion

A Tennessee manufacturing plant explosion that occurred during the morning Feb. 22 killed an employee. The fatal accident occurred at a factory that manufactures decoy flares for military use. The man who was killed had suffered burns to more than 90 percent of his body. He died during the evening of Feb. 24 as a result of his injuries.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration are both investigating the explosion. While the ATF expects to be able to determine the cause of the incident fairly quickly, Tennessee OSHA investigators expect to take six to eight weeks to conclude their investigation. OSHA officials will take statements from witnesses, analyze prior accidents that have occurred at the plant, and examine the training and safety protocols used by the facility.

Brother of Salma Hayek hospitalized after car crash

Tennessee fans actress Salma Hayek may already be aware that her brother was recently involved in a fatal crash in Los Angeles. Her 40-year-old brother, a furniture designer, is said to have crashed into a Toyota pickup truck on Sunset Boulevard after having unexpectedly veered into the opposing travel lane. Hayek's passenger, a 43-year old male whose identity has been withheld, died of blunt force trauma suffered during the motor vehicle accident.

The 20-year-old driver of the pickup truck complained of back pain in the aftermath of the crash and was admitted to the hospital with a broken foot. Hayek was taken to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with a head laceration and several broken ribs. Authorities say that their investigation is ongoing, and it is not yet known why Hayek lost control of his 2006 Ford GT.

Toyota issues recall due to software problems

Tennessee drivers may be interested in a recall recently issued by Toyota. The action is in response to the discovery of defective software that may cause Prius vehicles to come to a sudden stop, posing a potential safety hazard to drivers, occupants, and other vehicles on the road. Another problem, which is also included in the recall, concerns certain systems installed in RAV 4, Tacoma and Lexus RX models.

Prius models from 2010 to 2014 make up the bulk of the recall, with over 1.9 million of the vehicles being recalled. The majority of those vehicles are in North America and Japan, with a smaller number in Europe. The recall hopes to call the vehicles into dealerships so that technicians repair the issue. Without a change to the software, electronic circuits could cause excess thermal stress in some transistors installed in the vehicles, which might result in power loss.

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