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Atlanta Personal Injury Law Blog

Court rules that golf courses must protect against wasps

Georgia residents who either own a property or frequent one where certain dangers are present should know about a premises liability case in California that ended in an interesting court decision. Back in July 2013, a woman at a golf club in Napa Valley was taking private golf lessons when she was swarmed by yellow jackets at the fifth hole. These wasps are predatory and can attack without any provocation. The woman was stung more than 50 times and, according to paramedics, was within 15 seconds of dying. Her physical recovery cost her over a month of work, and her development of a deathly allergy to wasps means that she must now carry EpiPens wherever she goes.

She sued the golf course for general negligence, but the first trial court threw the case out, saying that the management of stinging insects goes beyond the requirements for a "reasonably safe" property. It took 15 minutes for the exterminator to actually find the wasps' nest, which was under a lump of grass.

Who is liable if you fell in a grocery store while shopping?

Georgia residents are aware there are various hazards they could face when they go out in public, including dangerous property conditions. For instance, you may not have thought the grocery store was a dangerous place, yet if you fall while shopping, you could find yourself dealing with serious injuries. As a slip-and-fall accident victim, you may be unsure of who could be to blame. 

Grocery store managers and owners have the responsibility of ensuring they clear their stores of any unnecessary hazards that could place customers at risk. If you were shopping and either tripped or slipped, you may not be to blame. Your accident could be the result of preventable hazards, and you could have grounds for a claim.

How homeowners in Georgia can keep their pools safe

According to the CDC, there are 7.4 million swimming pools and 5 million hot tubs in public or residential use across the U.S. At the same time, there are more than 3,500 non-boating drowning accidents every year, many of them occurring in pools. Pools present other hazards, such as exposure to toxic chemicals and mechanical failure.

Homeowners will want to consider the following tips, which can be broken into three areas of safety. The first is the pool perimeter; it should be guarded by a climb-resistant fence at least 4 feet tall with vertical slats no more than 4 inches apart, no easy footholds for climbing and a self-closing gate. An alarm that detects surface motion in the pool can be helpful in preventing accidents.

Common ankle injuries in slip and fall cases

Georgia residents can hurt themselves in any number of ways on other people's property. They could trip over cords and debris, slip on icy sidewalks or fall down stairs after handling a loose railing. Some of the most common injuries in slip, trip and fall accidents are ankle injuries. There are various types, so it's important to distinguish among them.

It's important for accident victims to know how the ankle is structured. The ankle joint is composed of three bones: the tibia, fibula and talus. The lower part of the tibia forms the inner anklebone, and the fibula forms the outer. The talus is the bone located at the foot. The bones are connected by tendons and ligaments and protected by a membrane called the synovium, which contains a fluid that allows for smooth movements of the bony surfaces.

Lawsuit alleges school district knew about sexual abuse

Georgia law requires teachers and school administrators to contact law enforcement when they have reasonable cause to believe that children are being abused, but a lawsuit filed on July 6 alleges that Gwinnett County Public Schools and several of its senior administrators failed to meet this legal duty. The litigation was filed on behalf of one of the victims of Gwinnet High School's former band teacher Villie Jones. Jones is currently incarcerated as he awaits his trial. He faces 21 counts of child molestation and sexual abuse.

Prosecutors claim that Jones began to sexually abuse his students in November 2014, which was only three months after he was hired by Gwinnett High School. The abuse is said to have continued until April 2017. In the lawsuit filed in the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, attorneys from the Atlanta-based law firm Isenberg & Hewitt claim that the school's principal, former principal and several of its employees knew about the abuse and took steps to cover it up.

A trampoline on someone else's property could injure your child

With technology around every corner, you certainly want your children to have the ability to enjoy activities outdoors and away from screens. Of course, rather than letting them run wild, you undoubtedly take the time to ensure that their activities will remain both beneficial and safe. Unfortunately, you cannot always keep your eyes on your kids, especially when they play at someone else's home.

Children commonly frequent their friends' homes for playdates, sleepovers, birthday parties and other activities. Because you know the parents, you may feel comfortable dropping your child off for a few hours with a friend so they can enjoy time together. However, if a friend has a trampoline at his or her home, you may want to think twice before leaving your child.

Objects falling from upper story windows and premises liability

Identifying defendants in a premises liability case resulting from objects falling from tall buildings in Georgia could prove complicated. Take for example the scenario of an improperly installed air conditioner unit in the window of an upper story apartment. Urban myths warn of the dangers of these units falling and hitting people on sidewalks. It rarely happens, but, when it does, the details in each case influence the assignment of responsibility for a victim's damages.

Potential defendants could include the owner of the building, the property manager, a tenant or an independent contractor who installed the unit. Two cases in another state addressed this exact issue. In one case, the building owners won on a summary judgment from the court based on a lack of evidence that the owners knew the air conditioner was in place. A different case went forward to trial because the owners could not show the court that anyone else had control of the property.

Your landlord may be liable for injuries caused by an intruder

Many people live in an apartment at some point in their lives. You may be someone who is moving into your first apartment or even have lived in several already. In either case, you certainly want your safety to remain a top priority.

You may have many items on your checklist as far as safety measures go. You likely want to make sure the parking lot has adequate lighting, that security guards monitor the premises and that your apartment doors have new locks that include a deadbolt. However, your locks may only provide protection as long as the keys remain secure. While you may certainly ensure that you keep up with your copies, you may wonder what your landlord does with extra copies.

9 steps toward a more secure rental property

It's important for landlords in Georgia to make sure that their rental properties are secure for tenants. This is all part of the landlord's duty of care. The following nine steps can also be seen as ways to prevent tenants from getting injured and filing a claim.

The first step is to maintain indoor and outdoor lighting. Hallways and stairwells should be lit, and outdoor lights should be motion-activated. These will keep would-be burglars away. Second, landlords should have secure doors installed, preferably made from steel or wood and fitted with peepholes, chain locks and deadbolts. Owners of multifamily properties could consider an intercom system. Third, windows should come with locks and security bars.

How small businesses can prevent slip and falls

Business owners in Georgia, as elsewhere in the U.S., know what it can mean for them if a customer slips and falls on their property. Such an accident could be attributed to the business owner's negligence and lead to the victim filing a premises liability claim. In the end, whether the victim receives a settlement or not, the business owner will have to spend time and money on a legal defense.

This is why preventing slip and falls is so important. Business owners should take into account every object that can pose a trip hazard. If there are stairs on the property, they should make sure the railings aren't loose. After mopping hard floors, employers should make sure that signs are put out.

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