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In June 2009, a Pennsylvania woman died days after she was struck by a power line that fell into her yard. Carrie Goretzka stepped outside to call 911 about the line and was shocked and burned by a live electrical wire that fell from trees. Rescue workers couldn’t help her until a utility crew came to cut off the power.

Goretzka’s family filed a lawsuit against the utility company, West Penn Power, and its related companies. It contends the companies are liable for Goretzka’s death because utility workers failed to properly maintain the wires that fell near her home.

The family’s attorney, Shanin Specter, says the power line failed at a point where it was spliced. He says workers using a splice device should have used a wire brush to clean oxides from the wires. Otherwise overheating will cause the splice to fail.

This week, citizens in Smyrna and Covington learned that the EPA has identified their communities as having elevated cancer risks due to the release of a toxic gas called ethylene oxide.  In Smyrna, the plant that releases ethylene oxide is run by Sterigenics, and in Covington, the plant is known as BD Bard.   The EPA confirmed that ethylene oxide is a carcinogen in 2016, having previously found it was a probable carcinogen, and further determined it was 30 times more likely to cause certain cancers than scientists had known.   Scientific studies have linked exposure to ethylene oxide to a variety of cancers, including Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, Leukemia, and Breast Cancer.  If you live in those affected areas, you can protect your loved ones by:

  • Organizing with your neighbors and being vocal, especially to the media.

In February 2015 in Phenix City, Alabama, our client was making a left turn on green at a 3-way intersection when, suddenly, a tractor trailer ran the red light, causing our client to strike the 18-wheeler.  From the beginning the defense tried to get out of compensating our client, putting up a hard fight at every chance and forcing McAleer Law to file a lawsuit against the truck driver and the trucking company.  In the lawsuit, we brought not only claims against the driver for his negligence, but also a claim against his employer for negligent retention.

The driver of the tractor-trailer denied any wrong-doing, even denying running the red light.  In spite of his denials, multiple scene witnesses contradicted the truck driver and testified that the tractor trailer appeared to slow down then accelerated through the red light.  Through documents produced in discovery, McAleer Law’s attorneys found that this truck driver had actually caused previous accidents within his first few weeks at work for the trucking company and the trucking company had decided to retain him as a driver.

Our client suffered from severe spinal injuries and had to undergo 3 surgeries along with months of physical therapy and pain management, which the trucking company clearly did not want to pay for.  Despite providing no evidence to support their arguments, the defense asserted that our client’s injuries were pre-existing to the collision due to our client’s blue-collar work history and even asserted that his surgeries were not necessary.  Such defenses are typical and predictable in automobile or trucking collision cases such as this.

The McAleer Law firm secures another win in the fight to help those who have been killed or injured and suffering life-altering injuries caused by someone else’s neglect or carelessness.

Thanks to the dedication of the McAleer Law firm, Florida Handling Systems has settled for $4 million with the family of a man who was crushed by a five-ton crane after it fell in the industrial accident. The crane had been deemed safe just a few short months before the incident by a designated company inspector. Charles McAleer is quoted as saying “Florida Handling’s a good company; they just made a mistake.”

The investigation revealed that Two State bought the crane, then hired Florida Handling to inspect and correct anything that was not up to regulatory standards. The inspector made five visits to the facility within a 24-hour period while inspecting the crane and replacing key elements. However, the inspector had missed a vital safety feature, the drop lugs. Drop lugs are designed to hold the crane on the beam, if it comes off its track.

Electronic discovery, or e-discovery, refers to the information, data and communications that exist on your computer, cell phone, text messages, emails and more. E-discovery is the process in which this information is gathered during the investigation of your case. With the majority of our communication now done through electronic devices, e-discovery can have a major impact on your case.
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There are many remedies available to individuals who are injured by another person, but what happens when the person who caused the injury is a government employee or even a federal employee? It is very difficult to seek recovery for an injury from a government entity or municipality due to the many immunities that are afforded to such entities. However, the Federal Tort Claim Act (FTCA) makes it easier to seek a remedy after being injured due to the actions of a federal employee. Because the process can be complex, it is always a good idea to seek the assistance of an Atlanta accident injury lawyer.
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In mid-May of this year, three kids –ages 5, 6 and 10 fell out of an inflatable bounce house after a gust of wind lifted it 50 feet off of the ground. According to witnesses, they saw the bounce house rise above both the trees and a nearby apartment building due to the small tornado. The 10-year-old girl fell out first. She sustained scrapes and a minor injury to her shoulder. As the inflatable floated higher, the other two children fell out. One boy was dropped onto a parked car and the other landed in the street. Witness Taylor Seymour recalls, “It dropped off the first little kid in the middle of the road, then it came the other way, it passed over my apartment, it dropped the second one, he hit his head on the back of my car and then he fell to the ground.” The boy who landed on the car suffered a serious head injury and the boy landing on the pavement suffered two broken arms, a broken facial bone and jaw and a ruptured spleen. The bounce house floated over a stretch of woods and landed in an athletic field behind a middle school.

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On June 7, 2014, former Saturday Night Live comedian Tracy Morgan was traveling in a limo bus near Trenton, New Jersey, when he was involved in a six-car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. He was returning from a performance in Delaware when he was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer. The crash killed friend and fellow comedian James McNair as well as critically injuring two others. Morgan suffered a broken leg, nose, several ribs and still relies on a wheelchair.

On July 10, 2014, Morgan and three other plaintiffs filed a personal injury lawsuit in the U. S. District Court in New Jersey. The driver was working for Wal-Mart and the company has been named as a defendant. They are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. The driver has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and assault. The police report states that the driver had been awake for 24 hours when the crash occurred. Thus bringing into question the ongoing debate about whether commercial drivers are being pushed to the max and thereby putting the public at risk.

See the link below for tips on how to share the road with large trucks:

As September approaches, youth are back to school. For some, they’re off to college. A time for growth, college facilitates opportunities to create a new identity and pursue new friendships. It’s an exciting time of discovery. But, there is one adverse tradition that continues to permeate college campuses everywhere: hazing.

Hazing is a group ritual that involves harassing and initiating potential and new members. In the setting of high school and college, hazing usually occurs within fraternities and sororities, sports teams, and performing arts groups. In wider society, it is not uncommon in gangs, the military, police departments, and even among religious groups.

Hazing differs from bullying because the victims almost always “see what’s coming.” Humiliating and sometimes violent or dangerous, victims possess a vague idea of what’s to come. The practice has become widespread and accepted as commonplace in many circles. Unlike bullying, visibility is low, and incidents are usually denied. Sworn to secrecy, victims sometimes fail to predict the extent of harm they may endure and “what’s coming” ends in injury…or death.

Clifford Harris Jr., also known as rapper T.I., recently settled a suit filed by the family of a man whose body was shown on the MTV program “T.I.’s Road to Redemption.”  The nine-episode 2009 show followed the Atlanta-based rapper as he attempted to convince young people to stay away from the criminal life. In one episode T.I. takes a young man called “Peewee” to an Atlanta crematorium and funeral home. There an employee shows them the body of a man described as a “hustler” whose “family did not know what happened to him.” The family of Joseph Williams recognized the body despite the face being blurred out. Williams had, in fact, died from an illness at home. In shock, the family asked for the body to be re-blurred, for the episode not to be re-run and immediately taken off the website. The production company ultimately decided the blurring was done to their standards and the episode remained online. The suit named the funeral home, funeral home employee, T.I. and Grand Hustle, Ish Entertainment and MTV-Viacom as defendants.  Earlier this year the crematorium and funeral home settled their claims. MTV, T.I. and the other defendants were scheduled to go to trial on July 7. However, a settlement was reached in mediation on June 29.

If you or someone you know have had remains of a loved one mishandled, call us at 404.MCALEER. Visit for more information.

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