Important Georgia Consumer Alert: Dangers of the Mirena IUD such as Wrongful Death including women in GA

This is a very important consumer alert.  The product Mirena IUD (a hormonal intrauterine contraceptive device) manufactured by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. that is used as a form of birth control has been found to cause many problems including wrongful death in women who have had, or still have, the device in their bodies.  Over an estimated two (2) million women have had, or still have, the Mirena IUD device in their bodies, and this includes many women in Canton, Georgia.

Mirena was represented by Bayer to both consumers and doctors as being an IUD that would not migrate outside of the uterus once inserted into a woman’s body.  It has been found, however, that the Mirena IUD has migrated out of the uterus after insertion according to dozens or more of lawsuits that are being filed against Bayer, the manufacturer of the Mirena IUD.  It is important to note that these are lawsuits against the manufacturer, Bayer, of the Mirena IUD, and not the doctor.

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Drinking and Driving: Who is Responsible and When? The law expands to Convenience Stores in Georgia ~ Part 2

This is my follow up to the blog post regarding the Dram Shop Act in Georgia and it’s expansion to liability on the part of Convenience Stores in Georgia, and in Canton, GA.  Prior to the case of Flores et. al. O.C.G.A. 51-1-40, the Dram Shop Act in Georgia, generally referred to liability on the part of an establishment that was licensed to sell alcoholic beverages and could be held liable if such beverages were consumed on the premises licensed for the sale of alcoholic beverages and such consumption, not the sale (emphasis mine), of alcoholic beverages, is the proximate cause of any injury, including death or property damage, inflicted by an intoxicated person upon himself or upon another person.

The Dram Shop Act under O.C.G.A. 51-1-40 subsection (b) expanded this liability to include liability on the part of a person who willfully, knowingly, and unlawfully sells, furnishes or serves alcoholic beverages to a minor (emphasis mine), knowing such minor will soon be driving a motor vehicle or who knowingly sells, furnishes or services (emphasis mine) alcoholic beverages to a person who is in a state of noticeable intoxication, knowing that such person will soon be driving a motor vehicle.  These parts of the Dram Shop Act were upheld by the Georgia Supreme Court in the case of Flores et. al..  The Supreme Court of Georgia in Flores et. al., however, expanded the definition of establishments, such as convenience stores as in the case of Flores et. al. and stated, “Because this statute uses the terms “sells, furnishes, or serves alcohol” in the disjunctive, it is clear that it was intended to encompass the sale of an alcoholic beverage at places other than the proverbial dram shop.”

The Supreme Court of Georgia, therefore, disagreed and overruled the Court of Appeals decision, ruled in favor of the Plaintiffs and awarded at or over a $ 1,000,000.000 verdict stating that, “Although the dram shop act makes it clear that it is the consumption of alcohol, not the selling or furnishing, which leads to injuries in this state, it goes on to create two exceptions to the rule for liability purposes: an individual may be liable for injuries if he furnishes or serves alcoholic beverages to a person who is underage, knowing he will soon be driving; and if he furnishes or serves alcoholic beverages to a noticeably intoxicated adult, knowing he will soon be driving. Liability is not imposed under either one of these exceptions, however, unless the furnishing or serving of the alcoholic beverage is the proximate cause of injury. OCGA § 51–1–40. We find these statutory requirements to be straightforward and under the plain language of the statute are equally applicable to convenience stores (emphasis mine) and traditional dram shops.”

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Drinking and Driving: Who is Responsible and When? The law expands to Convenience Stores in Georgia ~ Part 1

In a follow up to the my recent blog post regarding a parent being liable for the act of a child as well as the potential of a parent being liable for act of their children’s friends in drunk driving accidents this brings me to the very important topic of legal liability by the intoxicated person as well as the person and/or establishment who sold, sponsored, furnished or served the alcohol to the person who ultimately caused the accident.  In Georgia, and in Canton, GA, the legal alcohol limit is, I quote from, “GA. Code 40-6-391 Prohibition on driving under influence of alcohol, drugs, or other named substances; standards; punishments (Georgia Code (2013 Edition)) (5) The person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 grams or more at any time within three hours after such driving or being in actual physical control from alcohol consumed before such driving or being in actual physical control ended…” HISTORY: Code 1981, § 51-1-40, enacted by Ga. L. 1988, p. 1692, § 1.

As the Holidays are fast approaching we are invited to many parties of friends, colleagues, work related events, family events, and we go out to eat and may drink on more than one occasion at any of these events as well.  Alcohol effects each of us in different ways and what makes one person at or over the legal limit can vary from one person to the next.  There are many precautions that we can take to avoid taking the unnecessary risk of drinking and driving.  One of the best of which is to not drink and drive at all.  The other is to designate a sober driver, give our business to establishments that offer free nonalcoholic beverages to the designated driver, take a cab, stay in a hotel room where the event is sponsored, and many other non-drinking and driving alternatives.  The key here is to never get behind the wheel or allow another person to get behind the wheel who has been drinking at all. Numerous research studies have proven that drinking and driving even in the lowest amounts and over extended periods of time with no drinking in between in an evening can still cause a person to be over the legal drinking and driving limit, slow reflexes, and cause dangerous and sometimes deadly situations.

 

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Parental Responsibility for Children’s Actions and Attractive Nuisances: A recent event at Joseph Knox Elementary School in Canton, Georgia

I would like to take a moment to remember the children and staff, 26 total, of Sandy Hook Elementary School who lost their precious lives a year ago tomorrow, December 14, 2012, in what seems like a senseless tragedy that stirred the nation, and a date that has been frozen in time for so many families.  I am the mother of a young child and there is nothing worse than the loss of a child in a person’s life.  It is utterly confusing and one never forgets to ask whether or not there could have been something that could have been done to prevent such a tragedy.  Closer to home here in Canton, Georgia in Cherokee County, last Friday on December 6, 2013 at a well known Cherokee County Elementary School, Joseph Knox Elementary, a student was found in possession of a pocket knife and hatchet on campus.  For more information, you may see the letter that the principal of the school, Tammy Sandell, dated December 9, 2013, addressed to the parents of Knox ES Students.  You may also contact the Cherokee County School Police and reference case number 2013-12-456 for more detailed information of the incident.  As a parent and an attorney, I was sickened by this event no matter how harmless the school and authorities have portrayed the incident.

This brings me to my topic today of Attractive Nuisances.  Please kindly note that both the Sandy Hook Elementary School incident and the local Joseph Knox Elementary School incident appear to have happened as a result of children who were not trespassers, as the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine in Georgia addresses trespassers, and this is a distinguishing factor.  The incidents of Sandy Hook Elementary School and Joseph Knox Elementary School were cases in which the children appeared to have access to weapons in the home which, to some, makes these incidents more abhorrent than an incident of an Attractive Nuisance.  I will discuss the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine momentarily.  I would like to remind parents now, however, that you are responsible for your children and that you must use extreme caution when having weapons of any sort in your home whether it be a pocket knife, hatchet, or gun.  Children learn by example and if allowed to treat weapons as toys or items of attraction to show off to friends, inevitably tragedy may strike and a child or other person could be injured or killed.  This is not what any parent wants to experience so take responsibility for your children and for yourself as a parent if you have any weapons in your possession.  Weapons are not for children.  Furthermore, in many cases, the parents will be held responsible for the actions of a child, which I will discuss below as well, and this would include the actions of a child with a weapon who injures or kills another child or person.  This is senseless and common sense as well as the law will prevail in these instances.

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