THE SHUTTLESWORTH SENTINEL
201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411 www.shuttlesworthlasseter.com
Personal Injury Product Liability Wrongful Death
Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Assisted Living Abuse/Neglect
MAKING A DIFFERENCE MADE SIMPLE HOW YOU CAN SERVE OTHERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Have you ever wanted to make a difference in your community, but you just don’t know how to start? Maybe the sheer number of choices available when it comes to community involvement overwhelm you, or maybe the gargantuan task of “making a difference” feels too daunting. Even though looking for ways to help might be stressful, don’t worry. If you really care about finding opportunities to improve the lives of others in your community, you’ll be able to narrow down your search in no time, just as long as you keep a few things in mind. THINK OF WHAT YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT Do you like working with kids? Do you want to serve the elderly? What about animals? For whatever you like doing, there’s probably a charity or nonprofit organization where your interests will align with their mission. Even though I had no experience with it when I began, I discovered I have a passion for helping people living in public housing. I’m on the board of two nonprofits, Navigate Affordable Housing Partners and Housing Affordability Trust, both of which fund and support projects and programs helping those in need of affordable housing. The work we support includes renovation of affordable housing, job training, sheltering abused women and children, building senior centers, and funding scholarships. In so many places, including our own communities, public housing is constantly in need of help, and many residents are stuck in situations of poverty, drugs, and abuse. I feel fortunate that I’m in a position where I can do my part to help these members of our community. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BIG Just because you don’t have the capacity to help in a big way doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help at all. You might not have the opportunity to be on the board of directors for the charity of your choice. But you can look around online and find events and volunteer opportunities that line
up with your schedule. Maybe they need servers at the local soup kitchen one night, or perhaps you have some old clothes and toys you can donate. My daughters have volunteered
with the YWCA here in town, which is always in need of volunteers. Any greater involvement in something starts with a small first step. Serving on the board of directors for the past 15 years started with me simply saying “yes” when a friend from law school asked if I was interested. As my passion for serving people in public housing grew, so did my involvement. JUST MAKE THE TIME Working with Navigate Affordable Housing Partners and the Housing Affordability Trust is a huge part of my life, and we do a lot of valuable work for the community. That being said, sometimes it can be very difficult to make it to meetings and events due to time constraints. But then I remember those whom we serve, and I always end up finding the time and energy. Many of the projects we fund and services we provide to those in need simply would not be met if we were not there to help. So, every time I struggle to get to a 3:30 p.m. meeting, I remind myself that this work is how I can make my tiny corner of the world a little better. If you’re in the Birmingham area and are looking for ways to help with different organizations, a great place to start is the United Way of Central Alabama website, UWCA.org. They have several volunteer opportunities for anyone who’s passionate about helping others and looking to take their first step.
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HOW’S THAT FOR ODDS? REGGIE ‘MR. OCTOBER’ JACKSON’S LEGENDARY GAME
TOO WEIRD TO BE FAKE
REAL HALLOWEEN LAWSUITS THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED
At Shuttlesworth Law Firm, we give all our potential clients a free consultation — no matter how crazy their case may seem. And around Halloween, lawsuits can get particularly strange. From haunted-house hoopla to a troublesome pair of clown shoes, these lawsuits of Halloweens past are so bizarre you would think they’re from another plane of existence. SCARED CROOKED People can react in crazy ways when they’re scared, but Deborah Mays’ reaction was next level. When someone jumped out and scared her at a haunted house, Mays ran face-first into a cinder-block wall covered by a black curtain. She needed two surgeries to fix her broken nose, and she filed a lawsuit against the haunted-house owners. But the courts dismissed her claims, saying they could not predict how she would react when she was scared. DON’T LAUGH AT THE EPITAPH These neighbors’ petty fight took a grave turn. Annoyed that the residents of the house next door protested having their RV in their driveway, one couple decided to put their neighbors’ names on a pair of tombstones, along with comical inscriptions, in their front yard during the Halloween season. Their neighbors called the police, but the couple claimed the tombstones were their First Amendment right. The courts agreed with the couple, much to the disdain of their neighbors. IF THE SHOE FITS Clown shoes are supposed to be big — everyone knows that. So, maybe if your costume includes clown shoes, you should expect to have some difficulty walking normally. Well, that’s not what one man thought when he filed a product liability lawsuit against Forum Novelties
“I feel that the most important requirement in success is learning to overcome failure. You must learn to tolerate it, but never accept it.” – Reggie Jackson Some people shine brightest in the spotlight. When put to the test, they deliver every time. Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson is one of those people. During the sixth game of the 1977 World Series, Jackson hit three home runs in a row, securing the Yankees’ victory over the Dodgers and winning them their 21st World Series title. The legendary playoff game also earned Jackson the nickname “Mr. October,” which has stuck to this day. Like many stories of greatness, Jackson’s featured a lot of hard work behind the scenes. He dedicated himself to his sport and constantly worked to improve his play. Growing up, Jackson played baseball, basketball, and football and excelled at all three, though football was his strong suit. He was scouted and given opportunities to go pro straight out of high school, but, on the advice of his father, he went to college on a football scholarship. Thanks to a $5 bet, he tried out for the baseball team at Arizona State University and made it. Jackson was the first black person on the team, and, even though he experienced discrimination, he never let it stop him. From the minor leagues into the majors, Jackson’s ambition got him through many tough times, as did the constant support of his father and of Oakland A’s manager John McNamara. Jackson always dreamed of playing for New York, and, eventually, his dream came true when he signed with the New York Yankees in 1976. To this day, Jackson holds many prominent records, including being the first player to earn more than 100 home runs for three different teams (the A’s, Yankees, and Angels). He even has his own candy bar, the “Reggie! Bar,” which debuted during a Yankees game in 1978. Let’s see if any of this year’s playoff games stir up as much excitement as Reggie Jackson’s did in his heyday.
in 2010. His legal defense claimed that his clown shoes caused him to trip and injure his legs. As funny as his case is, this man certainly wasn’t clowning around with his footwear safety.
These cases may be strange, but there really is an above-average rate of injury on Halloween night compared to other nights. So, if you’re going to a party or are out trick-or-treating with your kids, remember to stay safe. Happy Halloween!
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THE 3 SCARIEST TRICKS YOUR INSURANCE PROVIDER WILL TRY TO PULL
SURVEILLING YOU AND MONITORING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA Insurance providers will find any excuse to argue your injuries are not as debilitating as you claimed. That can include actually watching you from the front of your house and combing through your Twitter, Facebook, and other social media accounts for posts that appear to show that your injuries aren’t so severe. Focus on your recovery after an accident, and don’t try to strain yourself or test your limits. SAYING YOU DON’T NEED AN ATTORNEY If your insurance adjuster says you don’t need to consult an attorney after an accident, alarms should be going off in your head. They know that with the right attorney, you will be compensated more than if they isolate you from knowledgeable third parties. Always
If you’re ever in an auto accident, it’s inevitable you’ll have to communicate with your insurance company. They’re a necessary part of getting the compensation you deserve in the event of an accident — just never assume they have your best interests at heart. An insurance provider will do everything they can to give you as small a payout as possible, regardless of what you deserve. And some of their tricks can be downright scary. CALLING YOU RIGHT AFTER THE ACCIDENT How many people can honestly say they were in a calm state of mind right after an auto accident? No one, and insurance providers know this. If an insurance provider calls you while you’re still on the scene, it’s not because they care about your well-being. Adjusters are trained to lead you to say things that will lessen your payout later on. If they call, tell them you want to speak to an attorney before making a statement.
involve a skilled attorney in the process of fighting for just compensation.
Insurance adjusters are not your friends. They represent companies that want to keep as much of their money — or your money — as possible. But you don’t have to go into the process scared. Give Shuttlesworth Law Firm a call, and make sure you get paid what you deserve.
TAKE A BREAK
Did you know that if you subtracted a billion people from each of the world’s two most populous countries, they would still be the world’s most populous countries? The two most populous countries in the world, China and India, have 1.420 billion and 1.370 people, respectively. That’s over a third of the world’s entire population in just two countries! The third most populous country in the world is the
United States, with just over 329 million people. If you subtracted 1 billion people from China’s population, they would still have 420 million people, and, if you did the same for India, they would still have 370 million people — both more than the United States has now. If you thought the traffic in your city was bad, imagine what people on those roads have to deal with!
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201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411 www.shuttlesworthlasseter.com
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THIS ISSUE INSIDE
1 2 2 3 3 4
Making a Difference Made Simple
‘Mr. October’: The Legendary Reggie Jackson
Bizarre Halloween Lawsuits
A Trick Without a Treat
Avoid Getting Your Hands Dirty This Halloween
NO-CARVE PUMPKIN DESIGNS! JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN
Jack-o’-lanterns go hand-in-hand with Halloween, but digging through the inside of a pumpkin is not something everyone enjoys. If you aren’t keen on cutting open a pumpkin, here are a few no-carve ideas you can try this Halloween!
stockings will stand out. Once the paint is dry, cut the legs off the stockings, slide the pumpkin inside, remove the extra fabric around the stem, and use hot glue to secure it. COLORFUL PAINT Painting your Halloween pumpkins gives everyone a chance to participate. Be creative by using different designs, cutouts for silhouettes, drip paint to create a marble design, or nail polish and water to give white pumpkins a unique and vibrant look. A SPOOKY MONSTER By adding a witch hat, wrapping a pumpkin in cheesecloth, attaching spider legs, or tying on a vampire cape, you can create a pumpkin version of the most popular Halloween monsters. Along with these accessories, you can also use paint, construction paper, and other craft materials to add the details that will make your creation pop!
HAUNTED HOUSE Take a few pumpkins, stack them on top of each other, and create a spooky pumpkin haunted house! Then, use paint, balsa wood sheets, and hot glue to create silhouettes, ghosts, windows, and doors for a haunting effect! CREATIVE WITH STRING Use cotton twine and hot glue to create a web- like design on the surface of your pumpkin. Don’t forget to add a few plastic spiders! You can also use string art to create ghostly words or images. Lay our your design with small pegs or nails and wrap the string around them to reach your desired effect.
For more detailed directions for these pumpkin designs and more ideas, visit WomansDay.com.
NOTHING BUT NET You can create eerie pumpkins using fishnet stockings. Spray-paint your pumpkin if desired — just make sure the design of the
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