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Georgia Legal Issues Blog

Personal injury claim asserts dangerous defects in lawn mower

The law of product liability in Georgia generally follows the same principles that are applicable in all jurisdictions nationwide. Generally, a manufacturer and/or retailer can be held strictly liable for putting a defective product on the market that results in personal injury to a consumer who was using the product according to its normal use. In addition to strict liability for defective products, manufacturers and retailers can be liable for negligence in the design or manufacture of a defective product. Sometimes, breach of warranty is also used as a theory of recovery for injuries sustained from a defective product.

Product liability law provides a defense if warnings were conspicuously provided regarding a defect or dangerous condition and the injury results from the consumer's not heeding the warnings. With those principles being applicable, a trial is currently underway in another state in which a 14-year-old girl is the plaintiff against a lawn mower manufacturer, Deere & Co. She claims that a defect in the mower caused her to lose her leg in a tragic accident when she was just 2 ½ years old. At that time, her father backed up the mower over her while not knowing that she was there.

Car accidents with chain reactions take a heavy toll

Some of the chain reaction accidents that occur in Georgia are bizarre and sometimes difficult to fully piece together. If the outcomes were not so tragic, the configurations and dynamics of such car accidents might be interesting to analyze. Forensic engineers with experience in reconstructing accidents are in fact brought into the process of personal injury litigation on a regular basis to analyze and explain how the accidents occurred and who is at fault.  

A recent chain-reaction crash on 1-75 North in Marietta may need a forensic engineer to determine the contribution of one or more trucks in causing part of the accident. The accident ended with nine people being injured, but thankfully no deaths were reported. The events started when a car that was trying to change lanes struck a tractor-trailer. The car went spinning into a concrete median and then came to rest in the middle of the highway.

1 dead, 4 suffer personal injury in collision in Forsyth County

Another brutally disturbing crossover accident occurred in Georgia on Feb. 10 at about 3 p.m. The accident occurred in Forsyth County on Brown's Bridge Road near Floyd Lane. Both death and personal injury occurred when the operator of a 2002 luxury car that was going east crossed the center line of the roadway and crashed into a pickup truck that was traveling easterly on the road. The one death was to a 26-year-old female passenger of the crossover vehicle.

The decedent had been a resident of Monroe County. The driver of the crossover vehicle, a 34-year-old male from Gainesville, Georgia, was hospitalized with undisclosed injuries. The victimized pickup truck driver, a 43-year-old male of Cumming, Georgia, was also hospitalized.

A personal injury attorney is trained to handle civil death claim

There is only one way to interpret a stopped school bus with lights flashing and a stop sign extended outward from the bus. In Georgia and all other states, those are the warning signals that tell a driver who is approaching the back or front of the bus to stop immediately and don't try to pass until the all-clear is given. When a motorist ignores or fails to see these unmistakable signs, he or she will be liable for personal injury or death damages that the motorist causes.

The motorist's liability insurance will kick in and be responsible for that kind of an accident. In one recent case, the cost to the motorist will be great. The police arrested a 38-year-old female for undisclosed charges after she failed to stop for the flashing lights and an extended stop sign on a bus that was stationary while picking up students in the Stone Mountain area of Decatur.              

Pedestrian accidents: Avoiding highway injuries

Imagine having your car die while you're driving it on the highway. Maybe you ran out of gas, a tire blew or the engine just stopped working. Whatever the reason, you're now stranded until help arrives.

What should you do to avoid getting into a highway accident? Being safe could mean the difference between walking away and ending up in a fatal collision. Here are three things you can do to stay safe when you're a pedestrian on the highway.

Business torts cover a wide range of actions against companies

Business torts filed in Georgia may involve disputes between two companies or in some instances, they may be asserted by consumers against a company. One company may accuse another of interfering with its contractual or business relations with customers, or it may assert various forms of unfair or unscrupulous competition that go beyond contractual issues. In the consumer complaints category, such business torts may include claims that a company falsely advertised its services or products.

There are numerous statutes in each state that set forth the elements of various protective tort actions that consumers can make against companies. There is also a body of common law in each state that may define other business torts and their required elements. The consumer claim was recently highlighted when a group of women filed a class action against InventHelp, the self-professed largest invention assistance company in the country.

Man arrested for CNN threats, needs criminal defense strategy

Georgia is the proud home base of CNN News, but being a member of a news network these days can be a harrowing experience at times. Recently, the tension was raised a few notches in CNN's Atlanta headquarters. The company reports that a man from another state plummeted the company with a barrage of allegedly threatening and harassing phone calls. He has been arrested and now will need to explain to criminal defense counsel what motivated him to act. 

The man allegedly badgered the station with at least two dozen calls on Jan. 9 and 10 in which he threatened to travel to Georgia to kill everyone in the station. Federal authorities in the accused person's home state apparently investigated and filed a federal criminal affidavit in federal court. They arrested him on unspecified charges that reportedly carry up to a five-year prison sentence.

Interstate child custody cases often arise in family law matters

Child custody cases in Georgia sometimes take on an interstate aspect. That is a family law issue that is raised where parents living in different states are fighting for custody of their children. There is an issue over which state should assert jurisdiction and decide the custody matter. It is generally held that the state representing the "home state" of the children is the state that should assert jurisdiction. That is not always that easy to decide, and so there are many permeations of the interstate child custody case law.

This is the setting for a recent case in which the grandparents of a child are seeking custody from the mother who lives in another state with the child. The court of the state where the mother resides assumed jurisdiction and ruled that the mother deserved custody. The grandparents appealed and the appellate court in that state affirmed custody in the mother, holding that the family law court properly exerted jurisdiction as opposed to the state where the grandparents live.

Fatal motor vehicle accidents have increased in Georgia

There has been a sharp rise in highway fatalities in Georgia during the past two years, according to state transportation authorities. During that period, there were more than 1,500 traffic deaths reported, which averages out to an astounding four deaths per day. Increasing driver inattention appears to be the main culprit in causing most of the fatal motor vehicle accidents, says a spokesperson for the state's Department of Transportation.

More than half of the fatal accidents were single-vehicle events, where drivers suddenly lost control and crashed into medians, barriers, walls, trees and other obstructions.  The highway department is blaming texting while driving. Others believe that drivers have also  become more inattentive about their driving in other ways, such as eating, talking on the phone, snoozing or fiddling with objects inside the vehicle.

How to divorce and not lose your business

Savvy business owners prepare for the inevitable ups and downs any industry must learn to weather. But when it's a family-owned business, one risk for which many are ill-prepared is the threat of a divorce between one of the principal owners and a spouse.

With roughly 50 percent of all first marriages ending in divorce — and the rate only climbs skyward for subsequent unions — it's prudent to have a plan in place in case this becomes an eventuality in your own situation.

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