The Stoddard Firm Blog

Apartment Building Landlords Are Responsible for Keeping Elevators Safe for Use

Unless a building is on fire, using the elevator should never be dangerous. Most of the time, it isn’t. Modern safety measures include plenty of redundancies to prevent malfunctions, and to ensure that any malfunctions that do occur will not present a danger to life or health. Unfortunately, not all apartment buildings follow these safety measures, which is why serious elevator accidents still sometimes happen. The state of Georgia holds landlords legally responsible for safe operation and...

Wood Pellet Plants Must Do Better at Keeping Workers Safe from Fire

Manufactured from plant matter recycled from other industries, wood pellets are an efficient, renewable fuel, and can also be used for pet bedding and a range of other applications. Unfortunately, the process of transforming plant waste into stable, convenient pellets involves exposure to sawdust, flammable chemicals, and heat-producing machinery. The procedure for making pellets safely is delicate and complex, and all too often, pellet mills don’t do what it takes to keep their workers sa...

Apartment Complexes Must Protect Residents from Local Crime Patterns

Many people consider it a fact of life that only the rich can afford safety. Those who don’t own their own homes or pay luxury rates for their rentals end up living in areas with higher rates of violent crime, often in buildings lacking basic security measures. When a resident falls victim to a crime, there’s often an attitude of “you get what you pay for,” and an assumption that the landlord couldn’t possibly do anything about the local crime rates if they wanted to. As prevalent as this ...

Purdue Farms May Be Liable for the Electrocution Death of Antonio Ramirez

At the Purdue Farms poultry plant in Perry, Georgia, a manager walked into the facility’s “hot room” early the morning of August 8th to find Antonio Ramirez dead by electrocution. Ramirez was working for a cleaning company called QSI, which contracts with Purdue Farms to clean the facility. He appeared to be cleaning the floor near one of the machines at the time of his death. The electrical current was still flowing when the manager arrived, and he later reported that...

Survivor Who Escaped from Gang-Related Sex Trafficking in Albany Can Now Sue for Compensation

In the summer of 2019, a 16-year-old girl reported to police that she had been held in forced sexual servitude by the Inglewood Family Gang, a Georgia chapter of the larger criminal organization best known as the Bloods. According to the survivor’s account, she was drugged, physically abused, and forced to have sex with multiple men to raise money for the gang over the course of two months, before she escaped and reached help. Many sex trafficking victims are instilled with so much f...

Users of Defective Kidde Fire Extinguishers May Be Able to Sue for Burn Injuries

Fire extinguishers perform a near-invisible but vital function in most people’s lives. We use them rarely, if at all, but we’re always counting on them to be there for us if we ever need them. That’s what they’re for. When a fire breaks out, a working fire extinguisher can make the difference between a harmless scare and death, serious injury, or millions of dollars in property damage. Recently, it’s come to light that Kidde brand fire extinguishers have been failing on a grand scale to pe...

Young Survivors Discovered in Georgia’s Latest Sex Trafficking Bust Can Now Sue Their Exploiters for Compensation

As part of the “Operation Not Forgotten” series of sex trafficking investigations now in progress, no fewer than 20 missing minors, ranging in age from 17 years down to just six weeks, were located across Georgia this past May. Most were found in Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton and DeKalb counties. Currently, authorities suspect that sex trafficking played a role in 16 of the 20 missing minor cases. The search was a collaborative effort between the Georgia Attorney General’s Offic...

Hartwell Speedway May Be Responsible for Recent Spectator Death and Injuries

Most of the risks associated with auto racing are confined to the track, and even the danger to the drivers has decreased over the years as racecar and racetrack designs have improved. However, due to the high speeds involved in the sport, racing accidents still produce enormous amounts of force. When this force is not well distributed and contained, it can pose a danger not just to the drivers but to the spectators as well. This is what happened at the Hartwell Speedway in Hart County on ...

Propane Explosion Causes Another Housefire Death Near Camilla

On Sassafras Tea Road, near the South Georgia city of Camilla, an explosion set fire to a wood-frame home on the evening of June 21st, 2021. Emergency responders discovered the body of one resident, 60-year-old Belinda Ann Yaremko, inside the burning home. Investigators determined that the explosion, which was powerful enough to destroy the house’s roof and blow out its windows, was caused by an accidental ignition of liquified petroleum gas, also known as propane. There is no pub...

Construction Workers Electrocuted in Cherokee County May Be Entitled to Compensation

On Reinhardt Parkway in Cherokee County, at the site of the expected new Holiday Inn, two construction workers were severely injured while working on an electrical box that had not been de-energized. The two men were found in distress on the morning of May 25th. One of them was still in contact with the box, and emergency responders had to call to have the system de-energized before rescuing him and transporting him to an Atlanta burn unit. He had burns covering 100% of his body. The other...