Confidential Settlement for Premises Liability Accident
Confidential Settlement for Motorcycle Wreck
$705,000 Verdict in Commission Dispute Case
Confidential Settlement in Golf Cart Injury
$1.9 Million Recovered in Pay Dispute
Confidential Settlement For Atlanta Chiropractic Malpractice
Confidential Settlement in Commission Pay Dispute
Confidential Settlement In Dental Malpractice Case
$3.25 Million For Alleged Fraud in Sale of Business
$5.5 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict
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According to a recent article in the Boston Globe, when veterans need nursing home care, the VA can place them in agency nursing homes or in other facilities at VA expense. Taxpayers pay $1,125 each night to house a veteran in VA nursing homes. That’s far higher than the average $296 each night in private facilities or $174 in state-run nursing homes where the VA pays a portion of the cost, according to agency budget documents. VA officials said the rates are not directly comparable because VA nursing home costs include hospital care and “more expensive medical services that just aren’t available in most non-VA facilities.” The agency told the Government Accountability Office in 2013 that about 40 percent of VA nursing home costs account for “core” services and would be comparable. At that percentage, the current VA core cost would be $450 a night, still 52 percent more than the agency’s cost for private placement. Despite the sizable public spending on VA nursing homes – more than $3.6 billion in 2018 – the agency until recently had kept the findings of inspections of its nursing homes confidential.

Despite the extremely high costs and apparent secrecy, according to the article, at the Veterans Affairs nursing home in Brockton, Massachusetts, a severely impaired veteran with dementia sat trapped in his wheelchair for hours, his right foot stuck between the foot rests. Inspectors watched as staff walked past the struggling man without helping. Veterans moaned in pain without adequate medication at VA nursing homes in Dayton, Ohio, and Augusta, Maine. A unit at the VA nursing home in Lyons, New Jersey, had no functional call system for residents to summon caregivers.

In another example cited in the article, a severely impaired veteran with Parkinson’s disease went without adequate pain medication day after day at the VA nursing home in Augusta, Maine, as nursing staff treated a sore at the base of his spine that had penetrated to the bone. “The resident moaned throughout the wound care and the moaning increased during wound cleansing and measuring,” noted an inspector who witnessed the episodes in July. Inspectors cited the Augusta facility and 28 other VA nursing homes for failing to ensure veterans didn’t suffer from serious pain. This is barbaric and would not be tolerated in any other facility in the country, unless it was a VA facility. The issue has been a long-standing problem at VA nursing homes – flagged more than seven years ago by the GAO, which found a high percentage of veterans were in pain. Specialists said caregivers should assess and adjust medications or try other methods to make sure residents get relief.

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As an Atlanta injury lawyer who has been handling personal injury and malpractice cases for over 25 years, I have seen a lot of potential new clients. Many have asked, in one form or another, some version of the following questions:

My wife fell when leaving our neighbors house. She broke her ankle in 3 places, can we recover for her injuries?

I have a quick question, my husband was hit by that train that was in the news and we need help.

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If anyone has attended an event in downtown Atlanta lately such as a Falcons game Georgia State basketball game, you may have noticed the proliferation of scooters and the drivers’ total disregard for vehicle traffic and signal lights. With all of the congestions surrounding events in downtown, scooters are a quick and easy way to negotiate the bitter downtown traffic and get to where you are going faster than by walking or driving. But, are they safe, and what are the rules of the road in regard to the use of scooters.

According to the Atlanta Police Department (“APD”), the city of Atlanta ordinance that applies to scooters (which are called “shareable dockless mobility devices and dockless mobility devices”, scooters “may operate in vehicle travel lanes, in bike lanes, and along shared use paths throughout the city,” according to the ordinance. All applicable state and local laws should be followed, it notes.

It goes without saying that electric scooters must obey all traffic laws and are not allowed to be ridden on sidewalks and pedestrian only areas.  The ordinance allows scooters to be operated within city parks, but they cannot be used on sidewalks or spaces solely for pedestrians. When on a shared use path, the riders “must yield to pedestrians in all cases,” the ordinance notes.

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The #metoo movement is on everyone’s mind. It is real and it is a problem that everyone in our society must take seriously, address and come up with a solution. One way to do this is to expose all of the ways that unwanted touching, unwanted sexual advances, and other types of violations are perpetrated in our society. A few years ago, a popular massage company that had aggressively expanded into Atlanta was in the news for instances of unwanted touching. The most common scenario: females being massaged by male employees of the massage company were being touched on parts of their body that were: (1) not what they wanted; (2) too intimate for a massage; (3) sexual in nature; and (4) beyond what they consented to when they agreed to the massage. The message that can be taken from this is: while this is the most common scenario, many types of unwanted sexual advances take place today. Many go unreported, others are reported but not taken seriously by the organization through which the sexual aggressor work, and still others are covered up by the organization (the very same organization that is responsible under the legal theories of agency, respondeat superior or joint venture for the acts of the perpetrator). While the act of unwanted touching is a crime in and of itself, putting someone in the position to commit this act (such as a massage therapist) when they are not sufficiently vetted and or trained, is an act of negligence on the part of the company and gives rise to a claim against that company for allowing this to happen.

Wide scale sexual abuse has been in the news seemingly all the time during this decade. The boy scouts, the catholic church, and national massage chains have all been associated with these claims of allowing sexual predators to operate within their organizations. However, the prevalence of these crimes is not restricted by any stretch of the imagination to these organizations. The following is an example of how unwanted touching can affect almost anyone in our society. How it can occur via a slippery slope and how the victim, many times remains quiet and “suffers in silence” because they somehow blame themselves, at least in part, for either allowing the unwanted touching to happen; or not stopping it once it happens; or not standing up for themselves and reporting it immediately; or not reporting it at all. Then again, this example exemplifies the suffering after the fact that is almost inevitable. The facts have been changed to protect the victim, but the moral of the situation is clear: This can happen to anyone, at any time. It does not matter if you are a woman, man, young boy, young girl, teenager, retiree, child, etc. It can happen to anyone and it can affect anyone. Just because we seemingly hear and read about woman and young boys being the victim of this crime, it is not limited to them. Here is one example that may be an eye-opener to many:

I took a vacation with my family. We were all excited to be headed to the beach and have a few well-deserved days off from the grind. My wife and I decided to spend the day together and we saw a popular massage place in the area. We wandered in and scheduled massages. They happily took us right away and we were in separate rooms. I lay on the massage table and the lady came in. I was getting a full body massage, and was naked under the sheet and towel on the massage table. I have gotten many massaged before and have always felt more comfortable removing all my clothes. Perhaps this was a mistake, I don’t know. The massage therapist came in and whispered “Hi Honey,” a bit unusual, but I did not think much of it as massage therapists usually talk very low and serene, as does everyone in a massage parlor, at least that is my impression. Was this a signal of things to come? I don’t know, perhaps it was, but I had no idea at the time.

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To add a party defendant into an existing Georgia state court lawsuit, leave of the court must be sought and the complaint must be amended to add the additional party. Plaintiff would move under these circumstances for Joinder and would typically file a brief in support of her motion for joinder, such as the following:

I. INTRODUCTION

This case arises from Defendant’s failure to pay for agreed upon labor and materials to renovate the Defendant’s restaurant located in Atlanta, Georgia (the “Project”). 

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The Georgia Supreme Court narrowly construed a statute imposing liability for dogs with vicious propensities and held that it did not apply to a landlord who failed to keep the premises of a rental house in good repair. The landlord knew that the renters had dogs and failed to fix the latch to the back gate. The renters kept two pit bulls unattended in the back yard and closed the gate by tying a leash around the gate pole because the latch for the gate was broken, apparently for the majority of time that the pit bull owners were in the house.

As an initial matter, the law regarding liability of dog owners focuses on OCGA § 51-2-7 which states: A person who owns or keeps a vicious or dangerous animal of any kind and who, by careless management or by allowing the animal to go at liberty, causes injury to another person who does not provoke the injury by his own act may be liable in damages to the person so injured. In proving vicious propensity, it shall be sufficient to show that the animal was required to be at heel or on a leash by an ordinance of a city, county, or consolidated government, and the said animal was at the time of the occurrence not at heel or on a leash.

In the Tyner  case, In December of 2008, the pit bull owners began renting out the Stockbridge home. A few months later, the latch to a gate on the backyard fence was broken. The latch was never repaired, and the pit bull owners began securing the gate by tying a dog leash around it and putting weights and a cement block at the base of the gate.

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A Jeep Cherokee driven by a 17-year-old struck a new mom, her baby daughter in arms, and a family friend who were walking to a concert in downtown Woodstock. All three died of their injuries. While the resulting death are certainly heartbreaking and tragic, a jury is about to decide the fate of the 17 year-old driver. Whether the deaths of Kaitlin Hunt, 3-month-old Riley Hunt and Kathy Deming were due to criminal actions or a simple accident will be decided in a Georgia courtroom as the driver faces nine misdemeanor charges, including second-degree vehicular homicide and distracted driving.

On-site and subsequent investigations involved cellphone records, witness interviews and a crash re-enactment informed by U.S. Naval Observatory expertise on how dark it was at the time. A Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office investigation concluded the pedestrians should have been visible; an expert defense witness disagrees. “I found that it was unavoidable,” said the defendant’s expert, a former Sandy Springs and Fulton County police officer who now owns an independent Reconstruction & Expert Consulting firm.

The driver of the Jeep has said she never saw the pedestrians. Investigators have determined she wasn’t speeding or under the influence of alcohol or drugs and the undisputed facts are that the pedestrians who were killed were wearing dark clothing, and the collision site at the time had no traffic lights or a marked pedestrian crossing zone, as it does now. The initial Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office investigation recommended no charges be filed. But, in an about-face, the County has brought criminal charges against the driver who was 17 years-old at the time of the wreck and is now 19.

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That’s right. You thought all along that Bird, Lime and Uber were the first scooters to show up along the streets of downtown Atlanta. Not so. Electric (and gas) scooters were used by the Atlanta Police Department since at least 1916, although it is apparent that they have not used them in quite a while. So let’s get this straight, the Atlanta police department was using electric scooters in downtown Atlanta over a 100 year before Bird and Lime scooters showed up. An amazing fact, to say the least.

In 1916, these electric scooters were not considered a nuisance and they did not wind up being left on the side of roads and sidewalk, like we see today. The reason: probably because the initial Atlanta scooter were police department property and had to be signed in an out of the police motor pool. In other words, accountability played a role in making sure that the scooters were safely placed in storage when not in use. Of course, there was no also a rash of electric scooter related accidents in Atlanta when these scooters went into service in 1916. Probably because the officers received training on the use of the scooters and the scooter were maintained properly by the police department.

According to the AJC, a 1916 front-page report describes the “sensational” first sightings of a new fad: the Autoped, which the reporter describes as a “man-toting, animated lawn mower.” Autoped motor scooters were made from 1915-19 by the Autoped Co. based in Long Island City, N.Y. (a German company made them for two years after that). The gas-powered version was more popular, but the company also made a version powered by a battery. In its heyday, postal carriers and traffic cops used the vehicles in some cities.

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The dean of a major university dental school has filed a lawsuit after being terminated as dean and in his complaint alleges, among other things, the stealing of gold crowns from the dental school and accusing officials of retaliating against him for reporting problems at the College of Dentistry. As an Atlanta lawyer who specializes in dental malpractice, this is an interesting development since many of the experts that we use in our cases in Georgia are deans of colleges of dentistry in other states. In Georgia, with limited exceptions, a dental malpractice lawsuit must contain an affidavit by an expert alleging at least one count of malpractice against the dentist being sued in the lawsuit. In most cases, the affiant will be the dean or former dean of a dental school and have extensive experience performing the procedure at issue in the malpractice lawsuit.

The Dean’s lawsuit cites numerous other problems that the dean allegedly uncovered. They include:

  • A departmental deficit of almost $2 million because clinical faculty (dentists) at the dental school were being paid salary supplements based on gross revenue from clinical services, not net revenue. The lawsuit alleges that officials did nothing to address the dean’s concerns;
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For many years, most people in the work force were aware that asbestos was embedded in many types of commercial products such as insulation, protective gear, break linings, clutch pads, boilers, firebrick, pipe insulation, “mud”, gypsum board, fire retardant paint, welding rods, ceiling and floor tiles, siding, roofing shingles, spackle, fire blankets, tar, boiler insulation, cement piping, gaskets, linings, and a whole host of other products. While many workers prior to the 1960’s and 70’s were kept in the dark about this, it was brought to national attention around that time and it is well accepted that the workers that worked with or around these asbestos containing products and who were diagnosed with an asbestos related condition were entitled to compensation for their illness and injures. Some of the asbestos related conditions are some types of cancers, asbestosis, lung problems and mesothelioma.

In a surprising development, U.S. regulators now say that several makeup products from Claire’s stores tested positive for asbestos, a mineral that has been linked to deadly cancers. The Food and Drug Administration tested makeup from Claire’s and the retailer Justice, both of which market their products to young girls and teens. Claire’s says its “products are safe” and disputes the test results, saying they “show significant errors.” The retailer says the tests “have mischaracterized fibers in the products as asbestos.”

This comes on the heels of a number of very large verdicts against Johnson & Johnson stemming from lawsuits in which the plaintiffs alleged that they were diagnosed with asbestos related disease from using baby powder and similar products.