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Hotel sees outbreak of Legionnaires' disease

Texas residents may want to know the details surrounding an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease, a form of pneumonia that causes its victims to have chills, fevers, severe coughing and shortness of breath. The outbreak was detected in the water system of an upscale hotel in Atlanta. At least 60 people who visited or stayed at the hotel, the Sheraton Atlanta, have become sick as a result, and one has died from the disease.

The outbreak mainly affected people who were at the hotel between June 22 and July 15. On July 15, the hotel closed down voluntarily and, after a thorough cleaning of the water systems, reopened on August 15. However, legal proceedings against the hotel are just beginning.

How to protect yourself from dog attacks

Each year, more than 4.5 million people are attacked by dogs in the United States, and more than 800,000 victims need medical attention for dog bites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Texas has led the U.S. in fatal dog attacks and ranks near the top in dog bite claims each year. The Lone Star State has followed the “one bite rule” since the 1970s which means owners may not be held responsible for a dog’s first bite. That makes it harder for victims to be compensated for injuries unless the dog has previously attacked someone else.

Electric scooters a danger for injury, including TBIs

As an Austin resident, you are well aware of the electric scooter explosion. Since last year, they have become a part of city streets and sidewalks. But you may not be aware of the risk in riding them.

Scooters have grown popular as an alternative form of transportation. This is despite the danger they pose to riders. A report released earlier this year tracked injuries caused by scooters in Austin. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gathered reports over three months of scooter crashes in Austin. Here is some of what they found:

Wayne Newton faces lawsuit involving pet monkey attack

Back in October 2017, a pet monkey owned by Wayne Newton attacked a girl who was touring his former. Texas residents may be interested to learn about the details of the resulting premises liability case. On Aug. 7, the mother of the girl filed a lawsuit with the Nevada State Court against Newton and the company that operates the museum and the tours.

The Casa de Shenandoah, the Las Vegas estate where the incident took place, is a 40-acre mansion once owned by Newton but sold off to investors back in 2010. It's a museum and tourist attraction with features like gardens, exotic animals and a stable housing the performer's horses.

How to avoid distracted driving

In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that 3,166 people were killed because of distracted driving. There are many different ways that a person can become distracted while driving on Texas roads or others throughout the country. Texting or otherwise using a cellphone is one of the most common distractions. However, anything that takes a driver's focus off of the road qualifies as a distraction.

Those who are tempted to use their phones while operating a motor vehicle may benefit from turning them off. If there is a need to make a call or send a text, a driver should pull over before doing so. Tired individuals should not drive as they could be just as impaired as they would be after consuming alcohol. A person who is frequently yawning or having short-term memory issues should stop driving immediately.

IIHS study shows where rear seat safety is inadequate

Improvements in car safety largely benefit front-seat passengers but not those in the rear seats. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has called rear seats a "danger zone" and has laid out the various deficiencies in rear seat safety. Residents of Texas may want to avoid sitting in the rear whenever possible.

One deficiency is the lack of airbags. Very cars come with side curtain airbags, which can protect rear-seat passengers from hard surfaces, and no cars are equipped with forward airbags for these passengers. Some automakers are developing them, however. Next, the IIHS points to the lack of force limiters on rear seatbelts. These devices can keep the seatbelt from tightening too much against the passenger in a collision.

Woman sues over bottle thrown at Drake concert

Texas music fans might be interested to learn that a 24-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit over injuries she suffered at a 2016 Drake concert in New York City. Drake, Madison Square Garden, a venue employee and music promoter Live Nation are all listed as defendants in the suit.

According to the claim, the plaintiff, a resident of Staten Island, attended Drake's concert at MSG on Aug. 8, 2016. During the event, she claims she was maliciously struck in the head with a beer bottle with no provocation. The attack left her with a traumatic brain injury that causes seizures. As a result, she is unable to attend medical school and now faces a "precarious" future.

Study: women's risk for car crash injury higher than men's

The journal Traffic Injury Prevention has a study out that shows how women are more likely to be injured than men in front-end crashes, the most common motor vehicle crashes. Specifically, the risk goes up 73% for women. Texas residents should know that the study covered over 22,000 front-end crashes that occurred from 1998 to 2015 and that involved belted drivers.

Researchers divided the cars involved in the accidents between those built before 2009 and those built in or after 2009. Both categories frequently saw injuries to the arms, hands, sternum and ribs. In newer models, there were fewer instances of injuries to the skull, neck, abdomen and lower extremities, including the hips, thighs, knees and ankles.

SunTrust Park beer cooler incident leads to wrongful death suit

Texas residents may be interested to learn that a fatal incident at SunTrust Park, home ballpark of the Atlanta Braves, has resulted in the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit. In June 2018, the man who invented a dispensing system that would reduce the average pour time for beer died while installing this system at SunTrust Park. Working overnight before a game day to install it, he was found in a concession stand beer cooler the following day.

He is survived by his wife and four children. The wife has filed the wrongful death suit against builders and the Atlanta Braves, alleging that her husband's death could have been prevented. It turns out that the construction crew had received an email alerting them to issues with the stadium coolers' door release mechanisms. The crew should have also known about any carbon dioxide leaks throughout the system.

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    Robert Alden: 2005, 2006, 2008-2019
    Kevin Henrichson: 2017-2019
    Rising Star: 2005-08, 2013-14
    Derek Davis: Rising Star 2004

    Super Lawyers are chosen by Thomson Reuters and published in Texas Monthly Magazine

  • Don Davis:
    Personal Injury Litigation 1993-2014
    Legal Malpractice Law 2014

    Robert Alden:
    Commercial Litigation 2006-2020
    Bet-the-Company Litigation 2010-2020
    Personal Injury Litigation 2011-2020
    Lawyer of the Year – Personal Injury 2012
    Lawyer of the Year – Bet-the-Company Litigation 2019

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  • Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP:
    Tier 1 Personal Injury Litigation 2010-2019
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  • Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP:
    Tier 1 Personal Injury Litigation 2010-2019
    Tier 1 Commercial Litigation 2011-2019

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