Manufacturing.net Rewind: $5M For A Toilet Prank; U.S. Vehicle Recalls Surge
Check out some of this week's top headlines from across Manufacturing.net, from Biden and a war on labor to craft beer delivered by drones.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A man left paralyzed from the shoulders down when his relatives tipped over a portable toilet while he was inside has settled a Pennsylvania lawsuit against the toilet manufacturer, the relatives and others for $5 million.
Donald Adams III was on a camping and fishing trip with two cousins-in-law at the time, The Legal Intelligencer reported Wednesday.
The newspaper, quoting filings from Sullivan County in northeastern Pennsylvania, said the relatives backed their truck up to the toilet to lock Adams inside as a prank. However, they inadvertently knocked the toilet over when they banged on it and shook it, the lawsuit said. Continue reading... 
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Joe Biden says a concerted war on labor threatens to drastically weaken the bargaining power of American unions.
Biden spoke Wednesday to an annual conference of the United Automobile Workers. He says the Chamber of Commerce and right-to-work committees are leading parts of the American business to wage a concerted war on collective bargaining. He says unions, quote, "are the only guys keeping the barbarians at the gate." Continue reading... 
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A craft brewer still has hopes of one day using drones to deliver its lager to ice fishing anglers on Minnesota lakes by air, despite being grounded by federal aviation officials after a recent test run.
Lakemaid Beer recently tested its delivery system by flying a 12-pack of its brew to anglers on central Minnesota's Lake Mille Lacs. A video of the experiment posted online showed a small unmanned aerial system, or drone, not much bigger than the beer it carried flying over the head of a curious onlooker, landing on an iced-over lake and setting the beer down in front of a fishing shanty.
Lakemaid Beer president Jack Supple said he came up with the idea after Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos caused a recent stir by announcing the company is exploring drone deliveries, and that sending a small package via an automated drone could be reality in a few years. Continue reading... 
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Labor regulators are trying once again to streamline the process in which workers decide whether to join labor unions, a move sure to reignite the bitter debate between union advocates and employers that seek to discourage workers from unionizing.
The National Labor Relations Board proposed rules Wednesday that would allow unions to hold workplace elections more quickly by simplifying procedures, setting shorter deadlines and requiring businesses to hand over lists of employee phone numbers and emails to union leaders before an election. That could make it easier for unions to organize and reverse decades of steep membership declines. Continue reading... 
DETROIT (AP) -- Automakers recalled 21.9 million cars and trucks in the U.S. last year, a nine-year high.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says automakers initiated 632 separate vehicle recalls in 2013, up 9 percent from the prior year.
Companies are saving money by using more common parts. But that can force them to recall many more vehicles when something goes wrong.
Chrysler Group initiated the most recalls, with 36. Among those was a recall of 282,000 minivans whose air bags could deploy on the wrong side. In all, Chrysler recalled 4.7 million vehicles last year. Continue reading... 
CHICAGO (AP) -- Could too much sugar be deadly? The biggest study of its kind suggests the answer is yes, at least when it comes to fatal heart problems.
It doesn't take all that much extra sugar, hidden in many processed foods, to substantially raise the risk, the researchers found, and most Americans eat more than the safest amount.
Having a cinnamon roll with your morning coffee, a super-sized sugary soda at lunch and a scoop of ice cream after dinner would put you in the highest risk category in the study. That means your chance of dying prematurely from heart problems is nearly three times greater than for people who eat only foods with little added sugar. Continue reading... 
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