The Atlanta Injury News Blog

June 2011 Archives

Fireworks Injuries and 4th of July Hazards

Fireworks and 4th of July celebrations often go hand in hand, but many people might not realize that fireworks have the potential to cause serious burn and eye injuries. FindLaw states that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 7,000 people were actually treated in hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in 2008.

The serious injuries that can result from a fireworks celebration gone wrong can include burns, loss of limbs, broken bones and torn ligaments, permanent blindness or impaired vision, or permanent scarring. Treatment for fireworks injuries can be expensive and may require plastic and reconstructive surgery. The mental traumas that fireworks victims can experience may also be severe, as they can suffer from anxiety, depression and feelings of insufficiency.

Napa Home and Garden Sued After FireLite Pot Explodes

After Ann “Missy” Boney of Jacksonville, Florida, saw her Napa Home and Garden bug-repellent burner blow up like napalm, she decided to sue the company and ask that the product be recalled, reports Florida Times-Union. Through a 20-page complaint, the Duluth-based company was recently accused of marketing and selling a product that can explode, even when precautions are taken.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also reportedly launched an investigation into the Napa FireLite pot this month after they heard various complaints across the nation that were similar to Boney’s explosion story. Boney said that a flaming gel from the FireLite pot ignited her patio furniture, dress, and even her left arm. She claims that she suffered from third-degree burns after the incident and had hospital bills that were at least $100,000. With these injuries, Boney also says that she will have to go through months of physical therapy to make a recovery.

Zach Werner's Family Sues Over Penske Trucking Workplace Shooting

Zach Werner of Marietta now requires 24-hour care and is on a feeding tube as a result of a January 2010 workplace shooting that left him in critical condition, where he is unable to perform any bodily functions on his own. But Werner's family is now getting a form of relief from the people and entities that they believe are responsible for the shooting through a $20 million lawsuit.

The Marietta Daily Journal reports that the lawsuit, which was filed in Gwinnett County State Court this month, names Penske Truck Leasing Corporation, Rollins Leasing Corp, Rollins Leasing LLC, and the alleged shooter Jesse James Warren as defendants. The suit alleges that Warren, a former employee of Penske Truck Leasing Corporation, walked into the workplace with two guns on January 12, 2010 and opened fire. Five people were reportedly hit by bullets in the shooting, including Zach Werner.

AtlantaFresh Artisan Creamery Recalls Their Mozzarella Cheese

Atlanta farmers market shoppers should be aware that AtlantaFresh Artisan Creamery recalled 60 pounds of their fresh mozzarella cheese this week after an inspection determined that the cheese was inadequately pasteurized. Hence, now is a good time to pay attention to what type of cheese you’re buying. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the affected cheese was sold in 8 ounce balls with a code date of “Best By 7/16.”

The Norcross creamery sold this mozzarella cheese at various farmers markets in Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Marietta and Atlanta. While officials with the Georgia Department of Agriculture initially said that the recall was for 688 pounds of AtlantaFresh Artisan Creamery cheese, the department later revised that figure down to just 60 pounds of cheese.

Judge Reduces Judgment in Hustler Lawsuit

A family will walk away with $375,000 from a lawsuit against Hustler magazine, but this is a bit disappointing for the plaintiff, considering that the family was originally awarded $20 million just moments earlier.

The family of Nancy Benoit filed the Hustler lawsuit when the magazine published nude pictures of Benoit after she was murdered by her husband in June 2007, reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Benoit had posed in the nude photographs in 1983 when she was an aspiring model, but apparently she changed her mind about the images after the photo shoot and said that she wanted the pictures to be destroyed.

Dog Bite Crackdown: Mandatory Dog Owner Fees in College Park

Those that own a Pit Bull, Rottweiler, or other “dangerous dog” in the city of College Park, will have to now pay a $25 fee to register their dog with the city clerk’s office.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this new requirement of dog registration comes after a series of recent Pit Bull attacks in the region and was passed by College Park City Council in order to make it easier to trace dogs that attack back to their owners. The dog owner registration ordinance will also supposedly help Animal Control keep a closer eye on potentially dangerous dogs.

The Temple High School bus accident that killed 17-year-old James Rashawn Walker last October still hasn’t made its way to the courts yet. Although, it looks like the Carroll County Solicitor’s Office is now reviewing the accident report and will be considering criminal charges for the bus driver Kenneth Herringdine.

According to Times-Georgian, a Georgia State Patrol official says that 59-year-old Herringdine will be charged with second-degree vehicular homicide for the fatal accident. Unfortunately for Herringdine, his legal troubles won’t stop just there. The family of James Walker has reportedly hired attorney B.J. Bernstein to take on their case and will be filing a civil lawsuit against Herringdine and other parties responsible.

Should Georgia Require Reporting of Hospital-Related Infections?

Georgia residents may have difficulties making informed decisions when it comes to where they should be going for their health care. This is because the state has no requirement for hospitals to make a public report on the hospital-related infections that patients pick up while under a particular hospital's care, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Some consumer advocacy groups strongly feel that the state of Georgia should pass a law that requires hospitals to disclose this type of information, where these groups feel that the disclosure rates of potentially deadly infections within hospital facilities would improve patient safety. Currently, 28 U.S. states have similar laws in place.

Woman Claims Dunkin' Donuts Coffee Sent Her Into Diabetic Shock

An employee at Dunkin' Donuts may have made a very costly mistake for the company after putting sugar in a customer's coffee instead of the artificial sweetener that was requested. A Philadelphia woman is now suing the international doughnut and coffee chain, according to the Associated Press, claiming that this alleged mistake caused her to go into a diabetic shock.

Here's another lawsuit about bad coffee. Only this time the coffee isn't too hot, but rather too sweet. The plaintiff Danielle Jordan alleges that the sugar in her coffee caused her to experience dizziness, light-headedness, and even a trip to the hospital. She is seeking unspecified damages in this case.

LaShawna Threatt, a 30-year-old model, fell out of a window on the 10th floor of the W Hotel in midtown Atlanta. She died at the scene on May 28, but her story has not yet been forgotten.

Since the accident, Threatt's father has filed a lawsuit against the W Hotel and its corporate owner Starwood Hotels and Resorts in Fulton County State Court. The lawsuit claims negligence on the part of the hotel and seeks unspecified damages, reports Fox News.

Georgia Sees Increase in Boating Fatalities

It’s time to celebrate the summer season, which means that many people in Atlanta will be heading up to Lake Lanier or other bodies of water in the state of Georgia for some fun on their boats. But remember, accidents can always occur when there’s boating fun.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports that boating fatalities have been on the rise in the state of Georgia over the past decade, with a reported 23 percent increase in boating fatalities in 2010 compared to the previous year. The number of people who die while boating has climbed by an average of four percent since the year 2000. Incidents of drowning by people not in boats has also been on the rise.

Sovereign Immunity Prevents Emergency Responders From Being Sued

Charlene Denney of Fayette County wants to sue a group of emergency responders in the county, who she believes are responsible for her husband's death. Yet it might be difficult for Denney to sue in this case due to sovereign immunity laws.

WSTV reports that Denny claims that her long-time husband, Dickie Denney, complained of minor chest pain during an incident in 2009 and that EMTs didn't want to take him to a hospital in Atlanta after the complaint of chest pain. She claims that the emergency medical technicians provided poor care that caused him to go into cardiac arrest and eventually die.

Family members and friends are still shocked by the death of model LaShawna Threatt. ABC News reports that the 30-year-old woman fell from the 10th floor of the W Atlanta-Midtown hotel while she was at a party on May 29. The fall came after she had leaned up against the window and it shattered into pieces. Threatt's friend Cierra Williams also fell out of the window at the same time and is now in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Many people are questioning why a nearly floor-to-ceiling window on the 10th story of the hotel was not shatterproof. The two girls were both very slender and probably shouldn't have been able to break the window just by leaning on it. The W Atlanta-Midtown hotel said in a statement that they're taking the "horrible accident very, very seriously" and that the hotel is cooperating fully with a police investigation.

If you've purchased ground beef from the Food Depot #24 store, located at 560 Macon Street in McDonough, then you should take extra care to make sure that you're safely preparing the meat due to the risk of an E. Coli contamination. CBS News reports that the metro Atlanta company recently recalled 500 pounds of their ground beef after a routine federal safety inspection confirmed that there was a positive result for E. Coli in the ground beef product.

The recalled beef products were produced on May 19, 2011 and were sold as tray packs of varying weights. So far, Food Depot has not received any reports of illnesses associated with the consumption of the ground beef, but the company encourages individuals concerned about the illness to contact a healthcare provider or the company's corporate office at (770) 474-5904.