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Georgia Personal Injury Law Blog

Lawsuit highlights link between fatigue and truck accidents

The high-profile June 2014 accident in which a Wal-Mart truck struck a vehicle carrying comedian Tracy Morgan and subsequent lawsuit against the retail giant have spotlighted the issue of truck driver fatigue. The 35-year-old Georgia truck driver, according to authorities, had not slept for at least a day prior to the crash that killed another comedian.

Morgan and two others were injured in the truck accident accused Wal-Mart in their suit of reckless conduct and negligence because the truck driver had a 700-mile commute from his home in Jonesboro, Georgia, to Wal-Mart's Delaware facility. That was before his shift even began. The suit notes that Wal-Mart has a minimum of nine facilities in Georgia plus others closer to the driver's home from which he could have begun his shift.

Veterans Affairs chiefs discuss Georgia whistleblower issues

On July 10, the acting secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs spoke out about problems at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center. This comes on the heels of the revelation that VA hospitals across the nation have been cooking the books regarding patient wait times and other problems. Sloan Gibson, the acting chief, says that most of the problems facing the Augusta, Georgia, facility could be attributed to a shortage of key medical professionals. In his opinion, the lack of doctors and nurses created an environment where there was more work. The heavy caseload was reflected in increased job stress and high turnover.

The director highlighted the facility's understaffing by pointing out that the hospital's nursing staff lists that it has 782 full-time positions, which indicates that it has a shortage of 151 vacant nursing positions. In fact, the hospital director admits that they are short 27 physician positions including those of chief of staff and chief of surgery.

We know distracted driving causes auto accidents but still do it

We've discussed accidents caused here in Georgia and around the country by drunk and distracted drivers on numerous occasions. Most everyone recognizes the potential dangers. However, too many people still think they can do it. That's what a recent Harris poll found.

In the poll of just over 2,000 adults, people admitted to consuming alcohol before getting behind the wheel, as well as engaging in activities including texting and talking on a cellphone.

According to the survey results at the Harris Interactive website, some also admitted to posting to social media or looking something up on a device. Other activities, including personal grooming and reading newspapers, magazine and books also made the list.

The study broke down the results of each question by generation to show the differing responses among Millennials, Gen-Xers, Baby Boomers and Matures (those 68 and over).

Insurance fraud case may give rise to class action lawsuit

It happens to nearly all of us every month; the dreaded insurance bill arrives in the mail. Whether it's for your home, car or for your health, having insurance is an absolute necessity in today's world. Although we hate paying for it, not having insurance coverage when something happens is an even more unpleasant experience.

Authorities with the Georgia Insurance Commission say that is just what happened when one woman decided to run her own insurance scam. According to the Commissioner, the insurance commission has charged a 41-year-old woman with seven counts of insurance fraud and three counts of forgery for her role in an elaborate insurance scam. An investigation into the woman's activities found that while working for the ABC insurance agency in Eastman, Georgia, the defendant allegedly bilked her clients out of $16,000.

Georgians should beware of eye ointment with crystal particles

If there’s one thing you don’t want to find in an ointment you apply to your inner eyelid, it’s crystal particles. However, that’s what was found in tubes of Muro 128, an ointment made by Bausch & Lomb. The company says the particles could cause abrasions or other injury to the cornea.

The product, which is sold over-the-counter, is most often used by people suffering from corneal edema. That condition causes the outer layer of the eye to swell. Consumers are directed to apply the product inside their eyelid.

1 woman killed in 2-car crash in Georgia

Police say that a woman in Georgia was killed in an accident, though they did not release her name for some time because they were having a bit of trouble locating her family to tell them what had happened. The woman was 31 years old, and one officer said that they were searching for family members in a few different counties. Eventually, they did find her family and release both her name and age.

The auto accident happened in Thomasville, Georgia. It occurred at the point where Airport Road and State Route 122 intersect, and it took place just after three o'clock in the afternoon. The officers who were alerted when the call came apparently responded to the crash at 3:19.

Congress begins scrutiny of defective product supplier Delphi

The investigation into the faulty ignition switches in some General Motors cars continues. Now the company that supplied those switches, Delphi, is under scrutiny by the U.S. Congress. Those faulty switches, a problem that some GM engineers knew about for at least a decade, led to a recall of 2.6 million vehicles. They have been linked to at least 13 deaths and 54 accidents.

While Delphi escaped participation in GM's internal inquiry into the problem, it does not appear to be able to avoid the scrutiny of lawmakers over its defective products. Already, some Delphi employees have reportedly met with congressional staffers.

Truck hits overpass, causes wreck in Georgia

A semi-truck in Georgia was traveling on Georgia Highway 365 when it was involved in an accident that quickly led to more crashes along the highway. The whole thing started when the truck, which was transporting an over-sized load, struck the bottom of an overpass. This happened even though there were other escort vehicles with the semi.

Police have said that the truck was going north at the time of the accident. The overpass that it hit was the one for Georgia 15.

VA whistleblowers allege qui tam violations and retaliation

The U.S. Office of the Special Counsel issued a statement on June 5, saying it is looking into alleged retaliation against whistleblowers involved in the recent Department of Veteran Affairs scandal. The OSC is the federal agency tasked with protecting federal employees from unlawful workplace practices.

Georgia is one of 19 states included in a review that OSC says it will conduct to determine whether the VA retaliated against employees who reported systemic problems within the agency.

Study: defective products cause many small aircraft crashes

A recent study by "USA Today" exposed some disturbing findings for those of us in Georgia who fly in private aircraft. Although most crashes of small planes and helicopters are blamed on pilot error or owner neglect by federal investigators and manufacturers, the study revealed that many actually result from defective parts and design flaws.

The newspaper looked at thousands of aircraft manufacturers' internal documents, which revealed that defects were to blame for fatal crashes in numerous cases. However, the defective parts went unrecalled for decades or are still in use. The study asserts that manufacturers have lied to regulatory agencies and covered up problems while some 45,000 people have perished in helicopter and small plane crashes in the past 50 years.

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