Ford Motor Co. cannot afford another Pinto. Neither can the auto industry. Remember the Pinto? It was one of the industry's hottest-selling subcompacts during the 1970s. Its success enhanced the reputation of Lee Iacocca - until an estimated 500 deaths and hundreds of injuries were linked to a faulty design that made the gasoline tank vulnerable to explosion after rear-end collisions. On June 9, 1978, Ford agreed to recall 1.5 million Ford Pinto and 30,000 Mercury Bobcat sedan and hatchback models. Iacocca was fired the following month. It was too late to save Ford's reputation. Ford customers filed 117 lawsuits, according to Peter Wyden in The Unknown Iacocca. A 1979 landmark case, Indiana vs. Ford Motor Co., made the automaker the first U.S. corporation indicted and prosecuted on criminal homicide charges. The Pinto case did more than enrich an army of lawyers. It also sparked the growth of an ingeniously organized litigation industry that moves quickly when big companies such as … [Read more...] about Ford 100: Defective Pinto almost took Ford’s reputation with it
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This year, we lost many of our black firsts, black female firsts, survivors of tragedies, civil rights activists, world-changers, record-making athletes and globally renowned artists. From Aretha Franklin to Craig Mack to Ntozake Shange to Nancy Wilson to Winnie Mandela, our loss was great. As we enter another year, where the fight for equality, dignity and freedom is necessary to our survival, let’s remember those who made an impact—both good and bad—and fought for us to be where we are, paved paths for us to follow or simply tried to live in their truth in an ever-hostile world, where the issue of whether black lives do matter is still a topic of debate. Denise LaSalle The R&B singer rose to fame in the late 1960s after moving to Chicago and singing with Chess Records. LaSalle is known for her hit songs “Trapped by a Thing Called Love” and “Now Run and Tell That,” among others. She died Jan. 8 at the age of 78 in Jackson, Tenn. Frankie … [Read more...] about In Memoriam: A Tribute to the Ones We Lost in 2018
At some point in her life, a woman debates whether to say something or shut up. It could be the supervisor who keeps looking at her breasts. The partner who won’t let her have her own bank account. Or the man who raped her. While some offenses are, in the cold calculus of our court system, weighted as more serious than others, they build and pile up in our souls over the years. Over time, they will even run together, fusing together into a pain that travels with you, as present as the air you breathe, as heavy as a stone. So when a woman makes this decision to report a man who is hurting her, she doesn’t make it lightly. Beforehand she will weigh all the possible good and all the possible bad that will come of speaking up and if she can carry that on top of all the hurt she already must hold, every day. This is why, quite often, women choose to not report the crimes committed to them. Because women’s lives inherently teach them that they will be punished for … [Read more...] about Kobe Bryant’s Oscar Win Reminds Us That Time Is Not Up For Everyone
In peacetime, the MLB Commissioner’s job is hard to see. There is of course the chance that the work is heavy and harrowing, endless stressful executive demands and the sort of hardcore deal-making that would buckle the spines of lesser humans. But there is also the chance that it’s just a series of sprawling steakhouse lunches with various owner types, lunches as far as the eye can see with men in blazers and pale blue dress shirts who are convinced that they should have even more money than they already do, and who hector the commissioner for not making it happen more quickly. Neither sounds pleasant. The commissioner becomes more visible, and his job duties more legible, during times of crisis. That has generally meant labor crises like the strikes and lockouts of the 1980s and ‘90s, at which the commissioner’s job comes into focus as chopping away at whatever the owners tell him to chop away at. Bud Selig was both the Brewers’ owner and MLB’s … [Read more...] about How Bad Does It Have To Get Before Rob Manfred Does Something About The Mets?
Year In Review The year. In review. Perhaps you need something to read on the plane home, or something to distract you while you avoid your in-laws. Here are the most compelling long features and essays we published this year so you can catch up before we do it all again in 2019. SafeSport, The USOC’s Attempt To Stop Child Abuse, Is Set Up To Fail—Just Like It Was Supposed To As he was questioned by lawyers in 2015 over and over again about what he did and did not know about sexual abuse suffered by Olympic athletes, then-U.S. Olympic Committee lawyer Gary Johansen made a choice. No matter the question, no matter which lawyer asked it, Johansen did not say “child abuse,” he did not say “sexual assault,” and he did not say “rape.” What he did say, over and over again in his deposition, was “SafeSport.” The USOC, he said each time, wasn’t responding to a crisis of rampant sex abuse. No, he said, these were … [Read more...] about Deadspin’s Best Long Stories Of 2018