The Atlanta Injury News Blog

May 2011 Archives

Bishop Eddie Long Lawsuits Settle

The famous Atlanta megachurch pastor and anti-gay activist Bishop Eddie Long has been dealing with disturbing sex abuse allegations over the past eight months. Yet the pastor can now move on with his life, as WSB Atlanta reports that the Eddie Long lawsuits involving allegations of sexual misconduct with four young men have been settled.

The settlement reportedly came after a series of court-ordered mediation sessions. Without the settlement, lawyers predicted that the Eddie Long lawsuits would have gone to trial in the summer or fall.

Angel Castro Torres, Cobb County Settle Police Brutality Suit

Angel Castro Torres, who claims in a lawsuit that two Cobb County police officers stopped him without cause and beat him, will walk away from this case with a $32,500 settlement. With the settlement, the lawsuit against Cobb County and the officers involved in the incident will be dismissed and the county will not be required to admit liability or wrongdoing, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Police officers are not allowed to use excessive force or brutality when making an arrest. When police abuse their power and cause injury to another person, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed and damages can be often be collected. 

Americans are currently recognizing National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 15-21), bringing attention to the fact that 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. While dogs continue to be man's best friend, The Huffington Post reports that nearly one million of these dog bite victims suffer from an injury severe enough to warrant treatment at a hospital.

What legal action should be taken after a person is attacked by a dog or other animal? FindLaw states that an owner can face a dog bite lawsuit and be liable for injuries if the victim can prove that the animal was dangerous and that the dog owner carelessly managed the animal.

There may be some health risks associated with childhood vaccinations, including the risk of long-term health defects or the contraction of diseases. So, can parents sue if their child suffers from a vaccine-related injury?

Such lawsuits can be difficult to win because of the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act, which states that vaccine manufacturers cannot be held liable for vaccine-related injuries or deaths if the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings. Hence, parents cannot usually collect compensation if the vaccine-related injuries or death was the result of unavoidable side effects.

Mom Sues Chuck E. Cheese Over Gambling-Like Machines

A mother from San Diego, California, claims that the popular children's arcade and restaurant Chuck E. Cheese features "illegal gambling machines" that give children tickets based entirely on chance. KTLA reports that these slot machine-type games are different than the machines that you would find in a typical casino because they give out tickets instead of money. However, this difference doesn't necessarily mean that such a machine is legal.

"Under California law, it doesn't matter if it pays out money," attorney Eric Benink said in KTLA. "What matters is whether it pays out anything of any value. In this case it pays out tickets, which are redeemable for prizes."

New Bike Law Gives Cyclists More Space on the Road

It's possible that more car accidents involving cyclists will be avoided, thanks to a new state law that will require drivers to scoot over at least three feet when passing cyclists. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that this rule means that drivers must basically cross the yellow line (when lanes are clear) if they're trying to pass a bike.

Will this law become an inconvenience for Georgia drivers when they're behind slower moving bikes, or will the law promote traffic safety by requiring a designated amount of distance between cars and cyclists? We'll soon see.

How Healthcare Apps Can Lead to Legal Claims

If you're in need of some medical advice when it comes to first aid or treating an illness, there are healthcare apps available to consumers that could be helpful. Perhaps the information that you receive from a smartphone app shouldn't replace a trip to the doctor's office, but such programs can instead be seen as a resource to learn about certain treatments.

New technological innovations are constantly also coming about through apps. For example, Tech News World reports that new app devices may soon be released that can deliver on-the-spot heart defibrillation with an outside power source or remote robotic examinations.

New Georgia Booster Seat Laws To Take Effect Next Year

Is your child safe to ride in a car without a booster seat? The state of Georgia is now tightening up on its car seat laws and imposing new requirements for child safety in vehicles. According to GPB News, Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill this week that will require children to sit in booster seats until they reach the age of 7.

This new law goes into effect on January 1, 2012. Under this law, children who stand more than four feet, nine inches tall or who weigh 40 pounds are exempt from the new booster seat requirements. The state's previous law required only children under the age of six to use the car seat restraints. Yet new studies have shown that 95 percent of the kids who are injured in car accidents were injured because they were not properly restrained.

Are you being watched? This is a fear that is starting to become a reality when it comes to computer rentals. ABC News reports that an Atlanta-based furniture and electronics company was recently accused of spying on its customers through spyware programs built into the computers that are rented out. Users claim that this spyware tracked renters' keystrokes, made screenshots, and even took webcam images of them in their home.

It's no surprise that some customers are furious with the rental company Aaron's Inc. now that these allegations have been brought up. A Wyoming couple filed a lawsuit earlier this week against Aaron's, alleging that the rent-to-own chain secretly spied on them with a laptop that they had rented out. The lawsuit, which was filed in a district court in Pennsylvania, is now seeking class action status.

Beware of Unlicensed Contractors and Repair Scams After Storm

Last week's storm hit the state of Georgia pretty hard, leaving many homeowners in the Atlanta metro area with property damage. In such desperate times, people might be tempted into hiring a door-to-door repairman for the fix-up tasks around the home. However, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp warns that residents and business owners should watch out for unlicensed contractors and scam artists.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Kemp states that certain types of work require a licensed contractor. This work includes major structural repair, electrical, plumbing and HVAC. Property damage that doesn't require a licensed contractor can include roofing, painting, sheetrock, siding, mold remediation, flooring and foundation waterproofing.

Unfair Car Booting Practices in Marietta Lead to Lawsuit

It’s always disappointing to come back to your car in a parking lot and find that the vehicle is immobilized with a boot attached to a wheel. The Marietta Daily Journal reports that Marietta Square, in particular, has become known for its parking lots that boot illegally parked vehicles.

But perhaps booting practices should be regulated a bit more closely in the town of Marietta. Some vehicle owners say that booting companies are charging unreasonable prices to remove the boot and that they’re engaging in unfair practices.