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The Lodge Apartment Shooting, Carjacking in Sandy Springs (WSBTV)

The Lodge Apartment Shooting, Sandy Springs (WSBTV)

27-year-old Monique Lassiter was shot and injured during a carjacking at the Lodge Apartments in the early overnight hours of Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

According to WSBTV News, two suspects opened fire on Ms. Lassiter during a carjacking outside her home at The Lodge Apartments on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. Two male suspects shot Ms. Lassiter in the abdomen and fled in her yellow 2012 Chevrolet Camaro.

Ms. Lassiter was transported to North Fulton Hospital. She is currently listed in stable condition.

Sandy Springs Police continue to search for the two suspects, “believed to be African-American men…the shooter is described as a man in his early 20′s, [who] stands between 5’6 and 5’7 and weighs between 140 and 150 pounds. He also wore a red shirt and a red bandana over his mouth and nose. There was no description of the second suspect.”

Our Legal Take

The Murray Law Firm is following media updates of this shooting closely and questions whether a potentially fatal security lapse may have contributed to the attack on Ms. Lassiter.

A cab driver was robbed at gunpoint in the Lodge Apartments parking lot less than two years ago. What additional security measures, such as bright lighting, emergency call boxes, security patrols, and surveillance cameras, have been implemented to improve parking lot security and property access-controls since that time?

 Were the assailants who shot Ms. Lassiter residents of the Lodge Apartments and, if not, how were they able to gain access to the property?  Were the property security gates working at the time of the shooting? Do the gates allow outsiders to follow residents inside the property? Was their a security guard on duty at the time of the shooting? 

Apartment owners have a duty to protect residents from foreseeable harm. For example, should a property owner be aware of prior crime on or near property, they have a responsibility to implement extraordinary security measures to deter future violence on property. Should an apartment owner and manager fail in this duty, they may be held civilly liable for any injuries or deaths that occur as a consequence.

As the details of this shooting continue to emerge, Ms. Lassiter may elect to file civil claims against the owner and management of The Lodge Apartments. Total claims may be in the millions of dollars and will, most importantly, demand The Lodge Apartments and other local apartments finally make resident safety their first priority.

Photographs and a thorough inspection of the property will need to be performed immediately before any evidence, such as broken fencing or surveillance footage, may be repaired, damaged or destroyed. Ms. Lassiter should retain a premises liability firm without delay to ensure all evidence is preserved and her best interests are protected.

The Murray Law Firm has extensive experience in protecting victims of property negligence and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 404.842.1600.

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Combined photo of vehicle and tractor trailer believed involved in fatal Brian Durst accident (Lamar County Police Vehicle/Alpharetta Patch)

Combined photo of vehicle and boat trailer believed to be involved in the fatal Brian Durst accident (LCPD Vehicle/Alpharetta Patch)

53-year-old Brian Edward Durst was killed while changing a tire in the emergency lane of I-75 Monday afternoon, July 14, 2014.

According to the Alpharetta Patch, Mr. Durst was changing a tire in the southbound emergency lane of I-75, near mile marker 198, just after 1:00pm Monday. Police believe a vehicle pulling a white boat and trailer passed by Mr. Durst as one of the trailer tires came loose. The tire fatally struck Mr. Durst.

Police are still searching for the driver. Authorities believe it is possible the driver was unaware the tire came loose at the time.

Our Legal Take

Trailer tragedies are becoming all too common across the U.S. A recent report shed light on the perils of trailers and the crucial need to properly inspect them before taking them on the road. The Murray Law Firm is now questioning whether Monday’s tragedy was a result of careless inspection or a catastrophic equipment malfunction:

What was the make and model of the boat trailer? Has this model had a history of issues with faulty tires? What is the maximum weight this model trailer can hold, according to manufacturer specifications? Did the boat exceed these weight restrictions? Were the trailer and boat properly connected to the vehicle, according to manufacturer guidelines and, if so, was the tire a result of missing or faulty equipment? Was speed a factor in the trailer wheel coming free? Does the trailer manual specify a maximum speed limit? Why didn’t the driver stop to assist Mr. Durst? Were speed, distraction or impairment factors?

As the answers to this investigation continue to emerge, the family of Brian Durst may elect to hold the driver civilly liable for the wrongful death of their family member. Additional claims may also be filed with the trailer manufacturer, should an equipment malfunction have contributed to this horrific accident. Such claims will serve as a grave reminder to all Georgia drivers on the need to meticulously inspect their trailers. Claims of this magnitude will also demand boat trailer manufacturers reevaluate trailer safety, making trailer equipment safer and putting safety stops in place to prohibit drivers from using the trailers without proper setup. Perhaps, through these legal claims, many other lives may be spared.

The Murray Law Firm works tirelessly to protect victims and families devastated by driver and manufacturer negligence. We offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 404.842.1600.

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13th Street Bridge Construction FallEmergency crews made a harrowing recovery over the 13th Street Bridge Wednesday morning, July 16, 2014, when a construction worker became injured and stranded high above the Chatahoochee River.

WTVM News reports, a Columbus construction worker was struck by a network of chain link metal while working on the side of the 13th Street Bridge, which connects Columbus to Phenix City. The metal, which serves to trap falling debris, came lose and struck the worker, leaving him injured and immobilized over the waters. Supported only by his safety harness and cable, the worker was left dangling beneath the bridge in audible pain for several hours as emergency crews worked to free him. A high-angle rescue team was able to stabilize the victim lowering him in a stokes basked to the river shore and then back up over the bridge.

The victim was transported to the hospital. Thankfully, the battalion chief reports the injuries are non life-threatening.

Our Legal Take

As the victim was working at the time of his accident he is almost certainly entitled to workers compensation benefits per Georgia law. In addition to compensation available under the workers compensation code, the victim may have an additional claim against the bridge inspector and metal sheeting manufacturer, should their negligence have contribute to this accident.

13th Street Bridge Construction AccidentUnfortunately, employers and insurance companies are often most concerned with getting employees back to work quickly rather than their long-term needs and medical care. As such, it is imperative the victim retain an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation and personal injury immediately to ensure their best interests are protected. A thorough inspection of all equipment and structures involved must be performed before any evidence may be removed, damaged or destroyed.

The Murray Law Firm has extensive experience in protecting victims of catastrophic construction accidents, such as this, and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information is encouraged to contact us at 706.494.2800.