If you are in the position of seeking a wrongful death lawyer in Roswell, the Stoddard Firm is truly sorry for your loss. You and your loved one deserved better than to have your time together cut short by someone else’s carelessness or malice.
In this unimaginably difficult time, we’re here to provide you with information that we hope will help you plan your next steps, with respect to justice, your lost loved one, your surviving family, and your own future.
Below, we’ll go into detail on how wrongful deaths impact Roswell families, and how wrongful death lawsuits work. If at any time you would prefer to speak with a Roswell wrongful death lawyer directly, please feel free to reach out by phone or chat.
Caregivers and Healthcare Providers Are Responsible for Lives
Everyone has a basic duty to refrain from reckless or unjustifiably violent behavior that would harm others. People in positions of trust and power, however, have a much higher level of responsibility toward those who depend on them. Beyond simply refraining from recklessness and violence, healthcare practitioners and caregivers must anticipate the needs of the people in their care, as well as likely threats to their safety, and protect them in accordance with the standards of their professions.
Roswell daycares have a disturbing history of failing to meet their most fundamental responsibilities to children. In 2019, a child just two years old reported that his teachers at the Goddard School of Roswell had hit him for crying. His father then planted a listening device and recorded multiple instances of teachers verbally abusing and physically threatening the children.
In 2021, video surfaced of the staff at the former Kids ‘R’ Kids daycare location on Pine Grove Road apparently feeding white children first, while black children waited. Although a subsequent state investigation did not confirm the presence of racist practices at the daycare, it did uncover multiple health and safety violations, including children not receiving food, water, or blankets at appropriate times. The Kids ‘R’ Kids daycare chain ended up cutting ties with the franchise owner, who applied for a business name change.
Thankfully, there have been no deaths connected with either of these incidents. However, it’s perilously easy for small children to die or suffer lifelong harm due to violence, accidents, or even brief lapses in attention. If one of the children subjected to such uncaring supervision had had special medical needs, things could easily have turned even more heartbreaking.
Of course, inadequate care doesn’t only affect small children. People of any age can find themselves depending on the professionalism of others for their lives. This can happen in a permanent way, due to disability, or in the short term, with the need for life-saving and/or invasive medical procedures.
Shortly before Christmas of 2021, Roswell High School lost a student, reportedly to surgical complications. The victim survived the procedure itself, but then quickly took a turn for the worse. All surgeries carry an element of risk, so it is possible that this death was an unavoidable freak occurrence. However, the victim was an apparently healthy 18-year-old athlete, and the surgery was described as routine. Deaths like his are always worth looking into for the possibility of medical malpractice.
If you believe that your loved one’s death was caused by a caregiver or medical professional failing to live up to their obligations, you may have a wrongful death case.
Landlords Have a Duty to Protect Tenants and Guests
When a person legally enters someone else’s property, that person has the right to expect the property to be free of hidden or excessive dangers. This is true everywhere from public spaces to the person’s own rented home, and the dangers can include anything from unshielded heavy machinery to a handrail that can’t bear weight.
For the Roswell community, the most obvious case of likely premises negligence in recent memory is the tragic incident at Park 83 Apartments on Calibre Creek Parkway. In early April, a group of families threw a party in the apartment complex’s common areas. At some point, a 4-year-old boy slipped away from the crowd and was later found in the pool, fatally drowned.
To prevent accidents just like this one, residential pools are supposed to have fences around them with gates that swing shut automatically and cannot be easily opened by small children. In one of the Google images of the property, the pool gate is shown hanging or propped open. If this is how the child gained access, the parents have a case for wrongful death.
Fires are another common form of negligent premises accident.
In November of 2021, a fire broke out at Martin’s Landing Condos on Teal Court, displacing 20 people. Though this incident was nonfatal, approximately a hundred Georgia residents die in residential fires just like this one every year.
No cause has yet been made public for the Martin’s Landing fire, but many of the most common causes of residential fires are the responsibility of the landlord. Things like faulty wiring, poorly maintained heating systems, and flammable, out-of-code building materials put tenants at needless risk of death through no fault of their own.
If your loved one was killed on a rental, commercial, or public property due to a code violation, or some other hidden hazard, you have grounds for a wrongful death suit.
There’s Blame to Share for Violent Crime in Roswell
The responsibility landlords have to protect tenants and guests can sometimes extend to protecting them from crime as well as accidents. As a default, landlords aren’t responsible for the criminal acts of others, but in situations where crime can reasonably be anticipated in advance, it becomes a known hazard, just like an open pool gate, which a landlord is obligated to address.
For example, in 2021, at the Mansell Apartment Homes on Eagle Crest Village Lane, a woman fatally shot her partner and nonfatally shot their two daughters and daughter-in-law on Christmas Eve.
If this shooting was truly sudden and out of nowhere, then the owners of Mansell Apartment Homes might have no particular responsibilities, except to watch out for similar events in the future. If, on the other hand, the shooter was previously seen making threats or handling firearms irresponsibly, the owners might have had a duty to step in on behalf of the other tenants’ safety. If the deceased partner ever tried to leave her relationship, but Mansell Apartment Homes financially forced or pressured her to stay, that could make them partially responsible for her death.
A landlord’s responsibility for crime also increases in higher-crime areas. This is because, when a pattern of crime has already been established, a landlord has more reason to anticipate the next incident and take appropriate precautions.
In Roswell, owners of properties along Holcomb Bridge Road should be on particular alert for their guests’ and tenants’ safety. In May of 2021, a man was shot and killed inside Hooligans Tavern, at Holcomb Bridge and Barnwell. Just a month later, a different shooter fired at a taxi in the middle of the day, at the intersection of Holcomb Bridge and Old Roswell Road. The shooter in the latter case is also suspected of firing at random hikers in Buckhead a few days earlier.
There might or might not have been anything local businesses could have done to protect people in these cases. Hooligans Tavern might have allowed the first shooter to become excessively intoxicated without cutting him off, for example, or there may have been no visible warning signs at all before the shooting began. However, the fact that these incidents happened leaves little excuse for businesses along Holcomb Bridge Road to skimp on security in the future.
If your loved one died violently at a business or in an apartment complex, the history of violence and violent threats in the area will be essential to your case.
Negligence in Roswell Comes in Other Forms, Too
There are nearly infinite ways for wrongful deaths to happen. Any time a person or organization fails to meet their safety obligations, and someone else dies as a result, that’s a wrongful death. So far on this page, we’ve paid special attention to examples that particularly affect Roswell, but there are also types of wrongful death that happen everywhere.
Other major categories of wrongful death include:
- Negligent traffic accidents — We’ve devoted a full page to traffic accident lawsuits in Roswell, which you may also wish to review if your loved one was killed by a vehicle.
- Defective products — If a product has an unnecessarily dangerous design, is missing vital safety information, or fails to deliver a safety benefit it was advertised to provide, the manufacturer is responsible for any harm that results.
- Workplace accidents — Employers are legally protected from wrongful death suits. However, in many workplace accident cases, there is another negligent party who is not protected, such as the designer of a dangerous piece of equipment. In cases where the victim is a private contractor, rather than a true employee, the family may also be able to sue the company on the grounds of unsafe premises.
If you are uncertain whether your loved one’s death counts as a wrongful death under the law, the best thing to do is speak with a qualified wrongful death attorney to find out.
The Stoddard Firm Has Compassionate Wrongful Death Attorneys Who Know Roswell
There are many elements to a successful wrongful death suit. Some are universal, others shift with the circumstances, so it’s important to choose a wrongful death lawyer who’s qualified to handle the entirety of your case.
The attorneys at the Stoddard Firm are experts on the core tasks of establishing the defendant’s duties to the victim, explaining how those duties were breached, demonstrating a causal link between the breach of duty and the victim’s death, and identifying the plaintiff as the victim’s next of kin.
We’re also excellent at illustrating the value of a person’s life to a judge and jury. Most people will accept that a victim’s life has value by default. However, there’s a big difference between abstract compassion for a name on a document and the compassion that comes with getting to know the victim, through their surviving loved ones, and through records of how they used the time they had.
Even wrongful death lawyers who understand these concepts like the backs of their hands won’t be as effective if they don’t have access to the right evidence. That’s where close familiarity with the victim’s hometown is so helpful.
We’re right here, ready to interview survivors and speak knowledgeably about the unresolved dangers that threaten Roswell residents. We’ll work with the Roswell PD and local medical and funerary establishments, like Wellstar North and Northside Chapel Funeral Directors and Crematory, to make sure we have all the relevant information on the victim’s final moments. In many cases, we already have relationships with the professionals we’ll need to speak with.
Then, of course, there’s the emotional reality of a wrongful death suit. Grief is a powerful and complicated force, even more so than survivors often expect, and you will almost certainly be wrestling with it at the same time as pursuing your case. For this reason, it’s essential that you choose a wrongful death lawyer you feel comfortable with, so that you can communicate freely about your goals for justice and life beyond.
The Stoddard Firm has extensive experience representing grieving families. We’re passionate about righting wrongs, we tailor our strategies to your priorities, and we’ll do everything possible to minimize the stress of the process for you.
To get started with a free, no-obligation consultation, just give us a call at 678-RESULTS, or reach out through our online chat function.