The Stoddard Firm Blog

The City of Atlanta Is Being Sued for Unsafe Sidewalks — Again

Simply walking down the street can be a risky endeavor in Atlanta, where obstructed and deteriorating sidewalks are a fixture of everyday life. Getting around safely is even more difficult for those Atlanta residents for whom walking itself is challenging or impossible. Small cracks and rises that many able-bodied pedestrians don’t notice can pose a serious danger and obstacle for users of wheelchairs and other assistive devices. That’s the reason for the latest lawsuit concerning Atlanta’s ...

Victims of Gang Violence Are Entitled to Increased Compensation under the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act

When choosing an apartment, or even a place to spend a day off, local crime rates are a significant consideration for many. Raw crime data isn’t hard to find, but rarely does it mention whether that crime is organized or not. That’s unfortunate, because gang activity is a significant factor in predicting crime patterns, and often a sign of property owner complicity. Funding for federal data collection on gangs was suspended in 2012, but the most recent figures indicate that gang-related viol...

Gas Stations Need to Do More to Protect Customers from Violence

If you feel vulnerable while filling up your tank, it’s not just your imagination. According to a survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S gas stations are the site of approximately 63,530 violent crimes per year. That’s almost as many as hotel rooms, banks, and public transport stations put together. Such crimes are so common that they almost run together on the news. In November of 2018, a drug deal in an Atlanta gas station turned sour and became a shooting that killed two people. ...

Georgia’s Condo Boom Puts Gun Violence Prevention in the Hands of HOAs

Condominium living has become increasingly popular in Georgia in recent years, between the wave of downsizing baby boomers and the influx of millennial first-time homeowners seeking more modest and centralized options than the suburbs. Although construction has yet to catch up with demand, there are more people living in Georgia condo complexes with each passing year. Unlike apartment complexes or detached houses in informal communities, condos are usually regulated by a governing board or h...

Corner-Cutting on Georgia Film Sets Puts Cast and Crew Members at Risk

It’s no secret that the selection of filming locations depends heavily on local tax laws and other financial factors. It’s also no secret that cost-cutting attempts are one of the most common reasons for neglecting worker safety. Production-friendly local policies have made Georgia one of the movie and TV capitals of the world in recent years, bolstering the state economy with both entertainment industry and tourism dollars. It’s worth recognizing, however, that the same business priorities t...

Atlanta’s Hotels Are a Haven for Child Sex Traffickers

Ever since the publication of the Urban Institute’s 2014 report on the illegal sex trade, the city of Atlanta has been trying to shake the unofficial title of “Sex Trafficking Capitol of the U.S.” Although it would take more research into the nationwide issue of sex trafficking to prove that Atlanta’s share of it is in fact the worst, the report did reveal Atlanta’s sex trafficking problem to be far larger than most locals would ever have guessed. As of 2007, the illegal sex industry was wort...

Swimming Facilities Are Responsible for Keeping Customers Safe

Taking a swim is a great way to stay cool and keep in shape in the summer, but it’s easy to become wary of this pastime amid the many reports of fatal drowning. Here in Atlanta, the last few years have been especially rough on that front. In 2014, a 4-year-old girl drowned during a pool party at the Ansley Golf Club. A lifeguard was on duty, but apparently didn’t notice when the girl fell in. Just two years later, a 10-year-old boy drowned in the pool of the Westin Peachtree Plaza, at a bir...

Georgia’s Crime Victim Compensation Program Can Provide Limited Help

Violent crime can obviously have devastating physical and emotional consequences, for victims and innocent bystanders alike. Less often acknowledged, but just as real, are the heavy financial burdens it can leave. If you’ve been a victim or even a witness to a violent crime in Georgia, you may have more resources available to you than you realize. The Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program is specifically designed to help people who’ve been financially affected by local violent crime. Wh...

Workplace Fatalities Are on the Rise, Even as the Economy Improves

For the millions of people left unemployed or underemployed during the Great Recession, the opportunity to return to work is something to be celebrated. Unfortunately, the recent drop in unemployment has been accompanied by a rise in workplace injuries and fatalities. While this might sound like the inevitable cost of returning to normal, these deaths are needless, avoidable, and alarmingly frequent. In Georgia specifically, the workplace death rate rose by as much as 70% between 2012 and ...

Atlanta Has Some of the Country’s Most Dangerous Roads

There are many reasons to love Atlanta, from the nightlife to the low cost of living to the thriving music scene. As any local will attest, however, the traffic is not one of them. Unfortunately, the trouble with our roads goes far beyond congestion into the realm of a serious public health hazard. As of 2015, Georgia had the fourth highest incidence of fatal car accidents nationwide, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That puts Georgia behind only by ...