The Atlanta Injury News Blog

March 2011 Archives

Parents Sue DeKalb County After Son Dies From Taser Shocks

Audrecas Davis died last year from cardiorespiratory arrest after police officers in DeKalb County used Tasers to restrain him. The parents of the 29-year-old are now taking legal action and filing a lawsuit against the county and eight officers.

According to CBS Atlanta, the lawsuit alleges that DeKalb police officers used excessive force when they shocked Davis six times while he may have been suffering from a seizure. Police reportedly were called after he was found to be unresponsive and lying on the floor of his motel room. EMS workers on the scene tried to restrain Davis on a stretcher, but police officers reportedly used their Taser guns when they struggled to with Davis at a point when he was trying to refuse treatment.

Bret Michaels Sues Tony Award Producers After Brain Injury

The year after Poison frontman Bret Michaels was hit in the face by a set backdrop at the 2009 Tony Awards, he suffered from a brain hemorrhage that nearly killed him. According to The New York Times, the rock star is now suing Tony Award Productions, CBS and others for the accident.

The lawsuit, which was filed last week in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that Michaels was not properly informed of how to leave the stage safely, which led to his brain injury. As a result of the near-fatal hemorrhage, Michaels had to cancel many of his concert dates. reports that the rocker is seeking unspecified damages in the case.

CPSC Recalls Lasko Fans Due to Fire Hazard

If you own a box fan manufactured by Lasko Products Inc., then you should look into whether or not your specific model has been recalled. Atlanta consumers should immediately stop using the recalled fans and contact Lasko to receive a free fused plug safety adapter.

Reuters reports that the company in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voluntarily recalled the Lasko fans this week after the company received seven reports of fires caused by the fan. Three of these fires resulted in extensive property damage, but no physical injuries have been reported as of March 24. Approximately 4.8 million fan units have been recalled in the United States.

Family Sues MARTA for Death of Anthony Beavers

After 19-year-old Anthony Beavers was killed at the East Point MARTA station last year, the boy's mother decided to take legal action against not only the alleged murderer, but also the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the mother Michelle Leighann Nichols is claiming through a lawsuit that MARTA knew that the East Point station was unsafe and that there was often criminal activity on the property, but negligently failed to warn people of dangers or strengthen security at the train station. The lawsuit states that MARTA "breached the duty owed to Anthony Blaine Beavers by failing to exercise ordinary care to keep its premises safe."

Suit Against Falling Water Inc. Dismissed Due to Statute of Repose

When filing a personal injury lawsuit, it's important to be aware of the Georgia laws regarding the statute of limitations and statute of repose to determine if damages can be collected in a case. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a Georgia Supreme Court recently ruled that a man who suffered serious injuries from a collapsed deck will not be able to recover damages from the company that built the deck because his lawsuit was filed too late.

Richard Rosenberg filed a lawsuit against Falling Water Inc. after his deck, which was built in 1994 by the company, collapsed in 2005. Yet a 4-3 Supreme Court ruling on Friday said that the suit had to have been filed within eight years after the deck was built for Rosenberg to be able to pursue damages from the construction company.

Tony Smith Sues: Handcuffed to Filing Cabinet For Seven Hours

Tony Smith got himself a lawyer when he found out that his civil rights may have been violated. According to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Smith was a disabled student at Grady High School when Atlanta Police officers allegedly handcuffed him to a file cabinet for an entire school day, which caused injuries to Smith's wrists.

A lawsuit states that the two Atlanta police officers involved in the incident, Charles Brown and Larry Bennett, were found to have violated the department's policy by allowing Smith to remain in their custody for an unreasonable amount of time.

Family Files Wrongful Death Suit over Starbucks Tip Jar

Many people consider tipping a Starbucks barista to be a good gesture, but perhaps the coffee company will no longer allow for tip jars due to a burglary incident that caused a patron to die in St. Louis.

CBS News reports that a 19-year-old thief took off with a Starbucks tip jar in March 2008, but that a customer named Roger Kreutz decided to be a hero and chase down the man who stole the tip money. This ended up not being the best idea, because Kreutz later died from injuries that he sustained from the physical altercation that he had with the thief.

Country Crossing Assisted Living Sued Wrongful Death Case

Walker County State Court jury recently awarded a family more than $9.5 million in compensation for funeral expenses, pain and suffering and wrongful death after 51-year-old Charlotte Pauline Dean died from multiple untreated pressure ulcers while a resident of Country Crossing Assisted Living in Northern Georgia.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the lawsuit against Country Crossing Assisted Living also named the nursing home’s owner Travis Thompson and Hutcheson Home Health Care in the claim. Dean’s family claims that the nursing home’s neglect caused the ulcers and that the facility failed to properly take care of Dean, who suffered from cerebral palsy.

What Do Expert Witnesses Do?

In both criminal cases and civil lawsuits, expert witnesses can provide testimony to help a jury or judge make an informed decision. The expert witness is typically a person who has specialized knowledge, education, or experience on a particular subject that is beyond the general knowledge of most people. For example, a doctor can be considered an expert witness in a medical malpractice case and can provide testimony on standard medical practices or the proper standards of care.

FindLaw's LawBrain states that courts most often evaluate an expert's qualifications on a witness-by-witness basis, meaning that there are no specific rules to determine if a particular witness is qualified to testify as an expert. Yet the qualifications of an expert witness have to be scrutinized by courts to guard against the people who could give false or erroneous testimony without a sound foundation.

How Common is Texting While Driving?

CBS Atlanta reports that there are currently 30 U.S. states, including Georgia, that outlaw texting while driving. Yet the new anti-texting laws are not stopping drivers from messaging behind the wheel. As a result, motorists are at much greater risk of serious traffic accidents.

A Consumer Reports National Research Center survey found that 64 percent of people say that they've recently seen somebody texting behind the wheel. Also, nearly one out of three drivers under the age of 30 admitted that they've recently texted while driving, which leads researchers to believe that this illegal activity is most common among younger drivers.

Skippy Peanut Butter Recall for Possible Salmonella Contamination

Americans may want to become more educated about salmonella infections with the recent string of peanut butter recalls and egg recalls. Time Magazine reports that the latest product recall involves the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announcing a voluntary Skippy Peanut Butter recall on Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread and Skippy Reduced Fat Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread sold in the states of Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Legislation Proposes Raising the Required Age For Car Seats

At what age can a child stop riding in a car seat? In the state of Georgia, it could be beyond the age of eight if House Bill 279 were to pass in the Senate.

The Augusta Chronicle reported this week that motorists in Georgia may soon have to face a $50 fine for not strapping children 8 years and younger into car seats under the proposed piece of legislation, which would raise the mandatory car seat age up from the current age of four. Motorists can be fined up to $100 for a second offense.

Oklahoma Dentist Sued For Medical Malpractice

Faulty dental work is not only costing one Tulsa dentist a great deal of money, but the professional's reputation as a dentist is also on the line due to a medical malpractice and negligence lawsuit. News on 6 reported that the dentist Dr. William Letcher can no longer practice in the state of Oklahoma after surrendering his license this week, just before the state's dental board was about to take the license away.

Now with no license, Letcher can reportedly no longer treat patients for five years and he can't even appeal to get his license back during this time. At least one patient has won a judgment against the dentist and even more patients in Oklahoma are trying to sue for negligence in their cases of dental work gone wrong.

Jerry Seinfeld Dodges Defamation Lawsuit

An author who was insulted that comedian Jerry Seinfeld called her a “nutjob” and a “wacko” on The Late Show with David Letterman decided that she would get her due by filing a defamation lawsuit against the former television star. However, it looks like the writer Missy Chase Lapine isn’t walking away from this case with the judgement that she had hoped for.

According to CNN News, a New York judge dismissed the slander lawsuit against Seinfeld last week. Judge Marcy Friedman found that Seinfeld’s comments on The Late Show were not defamatory as a matter of the law, as the comments made were an opinion and thus not considered slander.