Semi-Trailer Fatally Collides with a Parked Fire Engine in Douglas County

In the early hours of the morning on September 22nd, a semi-trailer struck a parked fire engine in the right lane of the I-20 in Douglas County. The driver of the semi was killed on impact, while the two firefighters inside the fire engine escaped unharmed, likely because they were still wearing their seatbelts, according to local officials. At the time of the accident, the fire engine was blocking off the right lane to protect emergency responders who were attempting to rescue a driver from a previous wreck. That driver had to be taken to a local hospital, but is expected to recover. Drivers Are Required to Move Over for Emergency Vehicles As tragic as his death is, the driver of the semi is probably…

Another Fourth of July, Another Flood of Fireworks Injuries

When the sun sets on July Fourth, it’s always a safe bet that emergency rooms will soon be inundated with patients suffering from burns, eye injuries, and concussive trauma. This year, one hospital in Augusta treated 30 separate fireworks injuries, accounting for more than two-thirds of their patient arrivals for the day. Summer may be behind us now, but for many of those who were involved in fireworks-related accidents on the Fourth of July, the results will last a lifetime. One 18-year-old in Georgia had to have his hand amputated after a firework went off while he was holding it. As a result, he may never again be able to play football or basketball, two of his favorite things. Even so, he was lucky when…

Can You Sue a Security Guard?

Have you ever wondered, “Can you sue a security guard?” The answer is, yes.  You can sue a security guard if he or she assaulted or harmed you and you were not threatening them. Because security guards are not law enforcement officers, they do not have the same rights that police officers do. Security guards cannot physically touch citizens beyond what is defined as “minimally necessary” to stop a crime or prevent a dangerous or unlawful situation. When wondering whether or not you can sue a security guard, remember that a guard’s role is to ensure safety, but not at the expense of your legal rights. The one exception to this is self-defense (which is the exception that every citizen possesses whether a security guard…

Gun on table

The Fatal Shooting of a Doraville Teen Might Have Been Preventable

On the afternoon of July 19th, in one of the recreational common areas of Foxwood Apartments in Doraville, 17-year-old Gerardo Cabrera-Perez was shot multiple times in the head, abdomen, and leg. He was then taken to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries. A 19-year-old suspect, Carlos Bernal, is now charged with his murder. As usual, in the midst of the grief over Cabrera-Perez’s loss, and the confusion over Bernal’s motives, few people are talking about what Foxwood Apartments could have done to keep its complex safer. Gun Violence in Doraville Is Not Uncommon This is not a case of a shocking anomaly in a normally peaceful neighborhood. The city of Doraville is less than seven miles across, but its residents have already…

lake

Lake Lanier Probably Isn’t Haunted, But It’s Definitely Unsafe

Over the course of each year, more than 7.5 million people turn out to swim, boat, picnic, and otherwise enjoy Georgia’s beautiful Lake Lanier. Unfortunately, not all of them will make it home alive. Stories of drownings, other accidents, and mysterious disappearances on and around the lake have become so commonplace that many now believe it to be haunted or cursed. Of course, tellers of ghost stories tend not to be the most reliable historians or devotees of the scientific method. In fact, one of the most popular origin stories for this supposed haunting is some kind of unspecified large-scale accident on the lake in 1903, even though this man-made lake didn’t even exist before 1950. In reality, when people disappear on a lake, the…

Bicyclists Have the Right to Use Atlanta Roads without Fearing for Their Lives

Bicycles are a healthy, economical, environmentally friendly way of getting around over short distances. They also reduce the number of cars in use at any given time, which can help relieve congestion on well-designed roads. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s roads are far from well-designed in many places, which has led to social conflicts and deadly collisions between motorists and cyclists. Accidents Involving Bicycles Have Risen Drastically A study by the Atlanta Regional Commission, spanning the years 2006 through 2015, reveals a sharp 53% increase in collisions involving pedestrians or bicyclists during that time. Upon further investigation, the Commission also discovered that 71% of all traffic fatalities in the city were occurring on just 6% of its streets: the low-income areas on the west side, including Peachtree Street…

Drivers Have a Duty to Share the Road with E-Scooter Riders

The controversy surrounding the e-scooter micro-mobility trend has come to a tragic head in Atlanta in recent months. While the pros and cons of alternative vehicles, and the challenges of incorporating them safely and efficiently into the flow of traffic, have been subjects of heated debate since before e-scooters were even introduced, a recent string of deaths involving the devices has prompted new restrictions, new outrage, and new discussion. On July 17th, 2019, a scooter rider was run over by a bus at the corner of 15th and West Peachtree. Passengers on the bus say they heard the rider, Brad Alexander, pounding on the side of the bus to alert the driver to his presence, but she didn’t notice. Once a passenger got her attention,…

Hotels Must Do a Better Job Protecting Their Guests from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

In a fresh, tragic reminder of the deadly power of carbon monoxide, two Best Western guests lost their lives this summer while visiting Asheville, NC for a rugby tournament. While police note that conclusive toxicology information may not be available for up to eight months, an initial investigation of the property points to improperly vented air and water heaters as a possible culprit. The Stoddard Firm has seen all too many cases of company owners failing to maintain safe premises for their guests, and we’re proud to help the victims of preventable accidents like CO poisoning, as well as their families, obtain justice. “Most carbon monoxide poisoning deaths can be prevented by installing and maintaining CO detectors wherever people sleep or fuel is burned,” says…

The Fatal Crash of a Van Carrying Adults with Special Needs Is Under Investigation

Two people were killed and seven more injured when an InCommunity van crashed into a tractor-trailer that was stopped in a left turn lane on July 15th, 2019. InCommunity is an organization that supports adults with special needs, and the van was taking program participants with intellectual and physical disabilities home at the end of the day. The two fatalities included the driver of the van and one passenger. Six more passengers and the driver of the tractor-trailer were treated for injuries ranging from bruises to probable concussions. The circumstances surrounding the crash are currently under investigation. Many Consequences of This Crash Will Be Felt for a Lifetime The driver of the tractor-trailer likened the impact to a bomb going off. He reported attempting to…

Testing Continues at the Sheraton Atlanta Following Legionnaires’ Outbreak

The Sheraton Atlanta has temporarily closed to conduct testing for legionella bacteria, after several guests of the hotel were diagnosed with legionnaires’ disease, a dangerous respiratory condition also known as Pontiac fever. According to a statement by hotel management, the closure will continue at least until August 11th. The Sheraton has not been confirmed as the source of the outbreak, but no other locations are currently being tested, and all ten victims identified so far appear to have attended the same conference at the hotel. Legionnaires’ Is a Potentially Deadly Waterborne Illness Legionella bacteria, which causes legionnaires’ disease, occurs naturally in wild fresh water sources and can become hazardous to humans when it colonizes plumbing systems. Transmission usually occurs through breathing aerosolized droplets of contaminated…