The Stoddard Firm Blog

The Response Process for Small Plane Crashes Fails to Address Serious Industry Failings

Small planes are popular for obvious and understandable reasons. Individual and family-sized planes, like those made by Mooney, Cessna, and Piper, have made independent flight accessible to more than just the super-rich. Unfortunately, these small planes are also one of the most dangerous ways to travel. Companies that design, sell, service, and rent small planes would like to attribute their high accident rate to the limited experience of amateur pilots, but there are very often more sini...

Atlanta’s Sex Trafficking Problem Continues to Traumatize Youth

It’s no revelation that Atlanta has a serious problem with sex trafficking. In 2014, Urban Institute published a study examining sex trafficking in eight of the U.S’s most notorious cities. Based on their findings, Atlanta’s sex trafficking industry had expanded significantly in the previous decade, surpassing even Miami’s. Ever since these numbers came to light, Atlanta has been trying to shed its “Sex Trafficking Capital” reputation, with new anti-trafficking programs and stronger anti-t...

Violent Crime Thrives on Landlord Apathy

Criminal violence is a massively complex issue with many interconnected factors. The behavior of landlords may not be the sole root of the problem, but it does play a much bigger part than many people realize. Once it becomes common knowledge that violence often happens on a particular property, and the perpetrators get away with it, other potential perpetrators become emboldened to hurt people on that property. In fact, that’s often how crime hotspots form — one or two businesses prove th...

Semi-Trucks Can Kill Without Even Reaching Public Streets

We’ve spoken extensively on this blog about how dangerous large commercial vehicles can be, and how companies that use them are responsible for ensuring safe handling. Usually, when people are injured or killed in commercial truck accidents, the accident itself happens on a public roadway or in a parking lot. The truck malfunctions due to lack of maintenance, or an overworked or undertrained driver loses focus for a split second and hits someone. However, commercial trucks can be deadly...

Venues with Live Animals Must Always Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Animals introduce an element of unpredictability into any situation. No matter how even-tempered and well-trained they may be, animals have moods and impulses of their own, and a limited ability to communicate them to their human handlers. Horses, in particular, are rightly known for their nervous temperaments, and it’s impossible to be sure what might spook a given horse on a given day. In general, commercial property owners’ safety responsibilities are tied to predictability. Accidents t...

Forklift Safety Is Still a Serious Issue for Big Box Stores

Jobs that involve using forklifts, or even being near them, carry abnormally high risks of death and catastrophic injury. This isn’t news. It’s been understood for decades. Yet very little progress has been made toward better protecting forklift operators and their coworkers. In the year 2020, there were 78 fatal forklift accidents and 7,290 nonfatal forklift injuries in the U.S. Those numbers are quite average, dating back to at least 2011. The changes that swept many industries in 2020, ...

Farming Equipment Should Be Engineered for Safety as Well as Efficiency

Among non-farmers, farming is often thought of as a peaceful, low-stakes career. Farmers themselves often tell a different story — as do the cold, hard statistics of the industry. Aside from the demanding physical work, and the uncertainty that comes with shifts in weather, insect activity, disease, and other factors, agriculture has the tenth highest death rate of all civilian jobs. The vast majority of those deaths are caused by vehicle and equipment accidents. While some of the chall...

Apartments That Enable Gun Violence Put Georgia Children at Risk

Property management companies would like tenants to believe that they are renting at their own risk. While most tenants know they have some right to safety, when it comes to things like leaking gas lines and toxic mold, many believe the “at your own risk” myth when it comes to violent crime. It’s true that there are limits on what a landlord can and should do to protect tenants from gun violence. For example, residential landlords do not have the authority to interfere with legal gun owner...

Georgia Has Added Human Trafficking to a Crucial List of Serious Crimes

Whether you’ve been casually following the story of bill SB-461, or you’re just now hearing about it being signed into law, you might be wondering how human trafficking could ever have been considered anything but a serious crime. Using force, deception, or other methods to coerce people into providing commercial sex or other unregulated labor is an obvious violation of human rights. The human trafficking industry ruins lives, and the fight to eliminate it has passionate bipartisan support...

Taking an Overseas Vacation Does Not Mean Waiving All U.S Legal Protection

American tourists looking to explore more of the globe are often inundated with warnings about the risk of travel in different countries, and advice on how to protect themselves. Some of this advice is well-intentioned and valuable. Being disconnected from your support system in unfamiliar surroundings is a vulnerable position to be in, and no two countries have exactly the same dangers or safety standards. An activity that’s perfectly safe at home could be deadly somewhere else, and vice-...