The Stoddard Firm Blog

Atlanta’s Construction Industry Is Bustling in Spite of the Pandemic

Back in March, when the danger and magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic first came to light in the U.S, the immediate fate of Atlanta’s construction industry came down to the placement of a single comma. In Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ initial stay at home order, the concept of “essential” work was defined as including “public works construction, airport operations, utility, water, sewer, gas, electrical…” and a multitude of other services. The specificity of “public works construction” se...

Can I Sue My Trafficker Even Though He Is in Prison?

The short answer is yes, you can sue a human trafficker, or indeed anyone who has harmed you with their negligent or illegal behavior, while they are incarcerated. There is no law preventing you from doing so, and there’s plenty of precedent for it. In fact, 80 survivors of Nxivm, the sex cult and alleged pyramid scheme that until recently was passing for an elite self-help group, are currently suing founder Keith Raniere for compensation. Their complaints range from sexual coercion to mon...

MARTA Employees Don’t Feel Safe From Violence At Work

Several MARTA bus drivers reported to Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News last September that they have been feeling unsafe at work, following repeated assaults from passengers. Upon investigation, Channel 2 was able to identify upwards of 20 such violent or threatening altercations over the previous three months, although drivers believe even that figure to be unrealistically low. Incidents ranged from punching and shoving, to spitting (in times of high contagion risk), to sexual exhibitionis...

Carl Ferrer of Backpage Has Pled Guilty, But What About Lacey and Larkin?

Carl Ferrer, CEO of the infamous adult ad website, Backpage, has pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to facilitate prostitution, as well as three counts of money laundering. The money laundering was apparently an attempt to hide the true source of Backpage’s income from banks that would otherwise have refused to handle it. As part of his plea, Ferrer has also agreed to cooperate with the investigation and prosecution of the companies’ two founders, Michael Lacy and James Larkin. Ferr...

Can I Bring a Sexual Assault Case Anonymously?

Survivors of sexual assault are often hesitant to come forward and assert their legal rights, and understandably so. Court proceedings can be invasive, particularly when sex crimes are involved, being a known survivor of sexual assault can carry harmful stigmas, and perpetrators and their legal counsel will typically do their best to discredit and demonize survivors who speak out. Many survivors also face ongoing threats of violence after the incident in question. One of the legal tools su...

Worker Dies by Electrocution at Atlanta Sand & Supply

An employee of Atlanta Sand & Supply was pronounced dead the morning of July 9th at the Byron location where he worked. A brief investigation of the scene indicated that the worker, James Wallace Dean Jr., had been killed by electrocution, apparently by accident. Of course, just because Dean does not appear to have been murdered does not mean that no one is responsible for his death. Electricity is a well-recognized and serious hazard of most workplaces, and there are many precautions ...

Fatal Crane Accident in Macon May Be the Result of a Negligent Design

Employees of the Rosson Sign Company were in the process of replacing a Quality Inn sign in West Macon on the morning of July 16th, when an apparent malfunction caused their crane to drop the sign from a significant height. Three of the employees were seriously injured in the impact and taken to a nearby medical center, where one of them was pronounced dead. His name was Johnny Stewart, and he had graduated from high school and begun his work at Rosson a matter of days before the accident....

The St. Regis Resort Could Be Liable for Injuries Caused by Its Collapsing Tent

A January wedding at Buckhead’s St. Regis Resort was interrupted when a tent collapsed under heavy winds, sending three guests to the hospital and causing superficial injuries to at least five more. The tent was being used to shelter the patio where the ceremony was taking place. Right after the bride walked down the aisle, the tent gave out under a gust of wind she said felt like a small tornado lifting it off the ground. A tent blowing over might sound like a minor accident, but the s...

MARTA Bus Kills Pedestrian Who Was Using a Legal Crosswalk

In one of the more senseless MARTA accidents yet, a pedestrian has been struck and killed by a bus while crossing Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd at H.E Holmes drive in Atlanta. It was about 1:15 in the afternoon on Sunday, June 7th — in other words, broad daylight, and not during peak commuting hours. The pedestrian died at the scene, and an investigation indicated that the bus had run over the victim. No identifying information has been released, except that the victim was an adult. Crimi...

New Federal Standards Leave Private School Students as Vulnerable as Ever to Sexual Assault

The Secretary of Education has recently announced new changes to Title IX, a set of standards originally instituted to protect students from sexual assault and harassment in schools. In spite of many schools’ protestations that they won’t be able to institute the changes in time, while also changing school operations to address contagion risks, the new standards are set to take effect on August 14th. The Latest Changes to Title IX Discourage Sexual Assault Reporting Advocacy groups for sexu...