Published on:

(WTVM)

(WTVM)

Local News

The Columbus community is seeking answers in the death of 33-year-old La Costa Williams, a father of five who was reportedly shot at the Booker T. Washington Apartments in Columbus Monday afternoon, October 27, 2014.

According to WTVM News, Columbus police responded to reports of multiple gunshots at the Booker T. Washington Apartments around 4:00pm Monday afternoon. Officers apparently discovered Mr. Williams suffering from at least one gunshot wound upon arrival. Tragically, he perished at the scene.

Family and friends are now celebrating his life as they mourn his passing. Mr. Williams’ sisters, Brittani Douglas and Latitta Norris, reportedly spoke with media about their loss:

“It’s hard for our family to grasp this situation, the kids have so many questions that we’re not able to answer right now. He loved his family, he did any and everything we asked of him. Just a great father, he’s going to be truly missed,” said Ms. Douglas.

Edward Powell worked with Mr. Williams at Diamond Kutz Barbershop and told media he will remember Mr. Williams as a “lovable” and “caring” father and friend.

The Booker T. Washington apartment shooting is the twentieth homicide to plague Columbus this year and a Neighborhood Scout crime analysis ranks the area a 4 out of 100 (100 being the safest). The crime in the area is apparently bad enough that residents of the B.T.W. community told media they are too afraid to speak out on the shooting for fear of retaliation.

However, friends and and family members are still hoping for justice and answers in the death of this young father.

“You not only tried to take something from a friend or brother of mine, you just also took his life from his kids,” said Mr. Powell.

Our Legal Take

As police continue their search for a suspect and motive, The Murray Law Firm is questioning whether another party may also hold responsibility in this tragedy: Booker T. Washington Apartments.

Following prior neighborhood crime, what additional security precautions were implemented by the owner and management of Booker T. Washington Apartments to protect residents and deter violence? 

Was the gunman a resident of Booker T. Washington Apartments and, if not, how did he obtain access to the property? What access controls, such as a security fence, gated entry, security patrol, and surveillance cameras, were in place and working at the time of the shooting? How did these security measures fail?

Given the history of crime in the surrounding area, the family of La Costa Williams may be entitled to pursue civil action against the owner and management of the Booker T. Washington Apartments.

Under Georgia law, an apartment owner has a duty to protect residents from any foreseeable harm. For example, should an apartment owner have reason to anticipate criminal activity on their property through knowledge of prior crime on or near their property, the owner and management must take extraordinary precautions to protect residents and prevent future crime. Should the owner and management fail in this responsibility, they may be held liable for all injuries and deaths that occur as a consequence.

Claims of this magnitude, potentially in the millions of dollars, will demand the Booker T. Washington apartment complex finally implement proper security measures and send a gravely needed message to all Columbus property owners and law enforcement on the need to improve security measures and increase law enforcement in this neighborhood. Perhaps, through these claims, many other families may be spared such a tragedy.

The Murray Law Firm works tirelessly to protect victims of apartment violence and property negligence and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 706.494.2800. Consultations are free and confidential.

SAC EM Update

Published on:

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 10.44.34 AMLocal News

A fatal accident at the Claude Howard Lumber Mill reportedly claimed the life of 32-year-old Salvador Hernandez Monday, October 27, 2014.

According to WTOC News, Mr. Hernandez was working on a piece of equipment at the Claude Howard Lumber Mill, off Gentilly Road, when the machine he was attempting to repair fatally pinned him.

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is now investigating the tragic accident. OSHA warns, “Working in a sawmill is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. The equipment poses numerous hazards. Massive weights and falling, rolling, and/or sliding logs can be very dangerous….Workers have a right to safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers.”

Our Legal Take

Advocates for employee rights at The Murray Law Firm are following the accident closely and question whether a fatal safety lapse or catastrophic equipment malfunction at the lumber mill may have contributed to this tragedy.

When was a safety inspection last performed on the lumber mill machinery? Were all required safety guards and emergency stops in place to protect employees handling the machine and, if so, how did these safety measures fail? Was the accident a result of an equipment malfunction or a failed safety guard?

Mr. Hernandez reportedly climbed onto the equipment while attempting to repair it. What safety precautions and training were provided by the lumber mill to protect employees performing such repairs? How did these safety precautions fail?

As Salvador Hernandez was working at the time of his death, his family is almost certainly entitled to substantial workers’ compensation benefits per Georgia law. Additional claims may also be filed against the equipment manufacturer, should a mechanical malfunction or safety guard failure have contributed to this tragedy. Claims of this magnitude will serve as a grave reminder to the Claude Howard Lumber Mill and all Georgia lumber mills on the need to make employee safety their first priority. By demanding companies implement proper safety precautions, equipment, inspections, and training, many other lives may be spared.

Photographs and a thorough, unbiased inspection of the facility will need to be performed on the Hernandez family’s behalf without delay to ensure all evidence is preserved and their best interests are protected. Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies are often more concerned with limiting their own financial exposure than protecting victims and their families. As such, having an experienced workers’ compensation firm to handle such negotiations can often mean the difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Murray Law Firm works tirelessly to protect victims and families devastated by catastrophic work accidents and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 912.385.9690. Consultations are free and confidential.

 

SAC EM Update

Published on:

(Fox Atlanta)

(Fox Atlanta)

Local News

Security at the Forest Cove Apartments is under intense scrutiny following the shooting of 1-year-old Rodrickus Robinson Saturday evening, October 25, 2014.

According to Fox Atlanta, 1-year-old Rodrickus ‘Junior’ Robinson was attending an outdoor birthday party with his family Saturday when gunfire erupted in the Forest Cove apartment parking lot. Family members apparently tried to carry the little boy to safety, but he was struck in the arm by a stray bullet as they fled the violent scene.

The young boy remains hospitalized, per media reports. Doctors are reportedly performing a second surgery in an attempt to save his arm.

Family and friends have reportedly organized a candlelight vigil to pray for the little boy’s recovery and to raise awareness of the ongoing violence in the Forest Cove community. Courtney Holt, Rodrickus Robinson’s mother, is calling for anyone involved in her son’s shooting to come forward.

Our Legal Take

Police allegedly made an arrest in connection with the shooting on Monday. While relieved a suspect is now in custody, The Murray Law Firm is questioning whether another party may also hold responsibility in the unconscionable shooting of this little boy: Forest Cove Apartments.

New Town Circle Neighborhood Crime Report (spotcrime.com)

Forest Cove Neighborhood Crime Report (spotcrime.com)

Crime reports reveal several burglaries, thefts and assaults in the surrounding neighborhood in the past month alone. What efforts to improve security were made by the owner and management of Forest Cove following previous violence in the community?

Was the gunman a resident of Forest Cove and, if not, how did he gain access to the property? What security measures and access-controls, such as gated entry, security fencing, bright lighting, surveillance cameras and security patrols, were in place and working Saturday evening to protect residents and deter crime? How did these security measures fail?

Given the history of violence in the Forest Cove community, The Murray Law Firm suggests that it is possible the owner and management of Forest Cove failed in their duty to protect the young victim.

By law, Georgia apartment owners have a duty to protect residents and guests from any foreseeable harm. For example, should an apartment owner have knowledge of previous crime on or near property, they must take extraordinary security precautions to protect residents and prevent future violence.

Should Forest Cove be found at fault for failing in this duty, the family of young Rodrickus Robinson may elect to hold the owner and management civilly liable for his injuries. Claims of this magnitude, potentially in the millions of dollars, will demand Forest Cove finally take extraordinary security measures to improve resident safety in the complex. Further, such claims will serve as a much needed warning to other local apartment owners to improve safety conditions for residents. Perhaps, through these legal claims, many other young lives may be spared.

The Murray Law Firm works tirelessly to protect victims of apartment violence and 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. Consultations are free and confidential.

 

SAC EM Update