Airport Luggage Belt

It Took Only Seconds for a Toddler to Slip into Hartsfield-Jackson’s Luggage Chute

If you ever traveled by air when you were a child, you probably remember entertaining at least a thought or two about the system of chutes and belts that carry luggage from place to place at the airport. You might have been afraid of getting swept away by those conveyor belts, or wondered where you’d end up if you tagged along for the ride. Well, this July at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, one 2-year-old did more than wonder. In the moments while his mother was printing her boarding pass, Lorenzo Vega climbed onto a luggage conveyor belt in front of an unstaffed ticket counter and was carried out of reach before she could catch up with him. While this might sound like a harmless misadventure, the…

Propane Explosion

Was Tugalo Gas Responsible for a Fatal Explosion in White County?

When Edgar Brummett stopped by his daughter’s house to check on a heating system that had been acting up, he was greeted by a propane explosion powerful enough to level the house and damage seven others, knocking some of them off their foundations. It was the last thing the 71-year-old family man would ever see. Neighbors who came to offer aid reported finding nothing where the house once stood but debris and the remains of the propane tank. The blast could be felt from as far as 30 miles away. A cursory investigation of the site only confirmed that the explosion was propane-related, but media interviews with the surviving family members later revealed more to the story. The Family Says They Had Already Reported a…

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…

Lyft’s Responsibility-Dodging Business Model Puts Users at Risk

Ridesharing apps, particularly the major players, Uber and Lyft, have made huge changes in recent years to how people get around, and how others earn a living. While passengers enjoy the convenience of affordable, on-demand drivers, and drivers enjoy the freedom of making their own schedules, this new approach to transportation has so far fallen short in other ways, including safety. Because rideshare drivers are contractors and not employees, they receive none of the training and little of the screening that traditional cab drivers undergo. Not only that, but Lyft and similar companies have historically used drivers’ contractor status as an excuse to deny responsibility for their misdeeds and mistakes, which have been alarmingly frequent. Unprofessional, Unqualified, and Criminal Drivers Are Common In March of…

The State of Georgia Has Failed to Protect Its Residents from Armed Abusers

In theory, domestic abusers have been forbidden from owning firearms under federal law since 1996. Properly enforced, this simple safety measure has the potential to save thousands of innocent lives, without so much as inconveniencing those gun owners who have a history of basic human decency and level-headedness. Unfortunately, more than 20 years after its passage, the law remains fraught with loopholes and only haphazardly applied. The restriction does not cover stalkers or abusive partners who have not lived with, married, or had children with their victims, for example, and even the most blatantly disqualifying crimes are often not reported to the background check databases used to determine weapon buyers’ eligibility. Most deadly of all, however, is the failure of many states to enforce the…

Residents of HUD Housing Can’t Afford to Wait for Carbon Monoxide Detectors

A rule requiring carbon monoxide detectors in public housing may be on its way, both through the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and, potentially, through federal legislation. For many low income families, however, this is already too little, too late. Carbon Monoxide Detectors Save Lives Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a deadly, colorless, odorless gas produced by the burning of carbon-based fuels. Any appliance that runs on natural gas can potentially malfunction and poison an entire home, and purpose-built sensors are the only way of detecting the gas before it reaches lethal levels. Like many public housing projects, Allen Benedict Court in South Carolina was not equipped with these life-saving devices when CO poisoning claimed the lives of two residents in January…

Gun-Related Deaths Are out of Control in Metro Atlanta’s Apartment Buildings

For the nearly 6 million people who live in the Atlanta metropolitan area, gun violence is a terrifying and tragic reality of everyday life. It has been for far too long, and is now more than ever. In 2017, 1,623 Georgia residents died by shooting. That number has been steadily climbing at a rate of 77 more deaths each year since record keeping began in 2014, and the problem is even more concentrated in and around Atlanta. In 2016, Atlanta was ranked the #18 “Murder Capitol” of the U.S, and guns were involved in 82% of all recorded homicides in the city. Just because gun violence is currently a fact of life, however, doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable or unchangeable. Shooting Deaths Are Not Inevitable…

uber app

Extra Insurance Is Just the First Step Toward Making Uber Safe

As of 2015, the state of Georgia requires Uber to provide its local drivers with $1 million in insurance, in case of on-the-job accidents. The ridesharing giant has since adopted this basic safety measure across the board, but it barely scratches the surface of the company’s safety issues. Even the improved insurance has problematic loopholes. For example, a driver en route to pick up a passenger is theoretically covered, but if that upcoming ride is cancelled, as would generally happen following an accident, Uber’s coverage no longer applies. More concerning yet is the inadequate driver screening process that allows for so many accidents and other problems to occur in the first place. In April of 2018, an Uber driver on her way from Marietta to…

Georgia personal injury attorney

Whoever Wins the Tug of War for Hartsfield-Jackson, Passengers Still Lose

In a controversial move that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms likened to “declaring war on the city,” the Georgia State Senate voted on March 7th to remove control of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport from the city of Atlanta and place it with the state. Weeks later, the Georgia House approved a heavily altered version of the bill, softening the state takeover into the creation of a state-run oversight committee. Yet amid all the debate over who has the right to control and profit off of the busiest airport in the world, few are talking about passengers’ rights to a safe travel environment, or how to fix Hartsfield-Jackson’s ongoing failure to provide one. The Record of City-Level Corruption Is Long and Indisputable As one of the biggest economic…