Simon Law Firm October 2018


october 2018

Football Scares Me

First off, I recommend to all of you that you give a listen to Malcolm Gladwell’s free podcast “Revisionist History.” It is available for listening on the web or as a download. Although most of his podcasts are excellent, his piece on the nature of proof in season three is special for two reasons. It tackles the legal problem that we face in so many of our cases: How much evidence is proof enough that A caused B? Second, it hits close to home because my 12-year-old son is playing linebacker for his 7th-grade football team and has already missed two weeks due to his first concussion. Gladwell’s podcast talks about a speech he gave at the University of Pennsylvania, in which he called for the elimination of football and expressed his frustration with the administration for an ivy league team that lost their team captain to suicide three years prior. The autopsy on the player showed that, at the age of 21, he had CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Keep in mind this kid had straight A’s, as did his siblings, until a few months before his suicide. This is a clinical finding in post-mortem brain exams in which the patient shows a loss of neurons, tau protein deposits, white matter changes, and series of tangles in the brain — along with other symptoms. CTE only appears in athletes who have had repeated concussions and sub-concussion impacts over the years or military persons subject to blasts. There are four stages of

CTE, with stage four being the worst and involving total dementia for the victim. Depression, confusion, anger, memory loss and many other symptoms manifest along the spectrum. Football players are the most visible victims, most famously Aaron Hernandez of the Patriots who killed himself at age 27 after being imprisoned for murdering a man. His autopsy showed that he had stage three CTE, and he was the youngest person to ever be so diagnosed. In 2015, a major study by the Department of Veteran Affairs and B.U. found CTE in 96 percent of NFL players that they autopsied and 79 percent of players who played in college.

between players and the NFL for $75 million. This amount covered medical exams for retired players, $10 million for research and education, and an unlimited amount for retired players who show they suffer from brain-related conditions. So the question is: Can a minor who cannot enter into a contract understand the risk and sign it away? Should we allow young children to play football when science says playing before age 12 is dangerous because the brain is still developing drastically? Should I allow my son to follow his passion or refuse to protect him? These are the questions that keep me up at night. –Christopher Simon

A class action lawsuit went on for years, and in April 2015, a settlement was reached | 1

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Have a Fun and SAFE Halloween!


Happy Halloween, you goblins, ghouls, witches, and spooks! It’s that time of year again when kids and adults alike can dress up and roam the streets as their favorite heroes, frights, or princesses. While kids are eager to show off their outfits and fill their pillowcases with sugary treasures, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential dangers on Halloween night.

few simple guidelines. Add reflective tape to candy bags and costumes and wear light colors to stand out in the dark. Buying or making the right-sized costumes is also important. If they’re too large, they create a tripping hazard, and if they’re too tight, they can restrict movement. If your child wears a mask, make sure they can see out of it properly. Make a Plan Before heading out to trick or treat, create a plan and discuss it with every member of your family. This ensures that if someone in your group wanders off, they’ll know where to look for you or where to go. In case you’re separated, label your child’s costume with your name, address, and phone number. If your children are old enough to trick or treat without adults, make sure that their

vehicle and killed during Halloween than any other day of the year.”

Practice Street Safety Make sure your kids understand basic road safety. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, “Children are more likely to be struck by a

Before heading out for some good old- fashioned trick-or-treating, take the time to go over basic safety tips. Teach kids to look both ways before crossing, use crosswalks and traffic signals, cross streets on the corners, and never run across the street. Making eye contact with drivers before walking in front of their cars is also a good way to make sure the driver knows the child is there.

Choose Smart Costumes Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without

cellphones are charged and on them at all times, and schedule regular check-ins.

costumes! They should be fun, but you can also make them safer by following a

On Your Way to Heaven or Hell ... YOU’LL HAVE TOMAKE A PIT STOP IN ATLANTA

4. ‘The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia’ by Reba McEntire Vicki Lawrence claimed this song first in 1972, but country star Reba McEntire made it famous two decades later, in 1991. The tune tells the twisted story of a man who returns from a two-week trip away from home.

The saying goes, “When you die, whether you’re going to heaven or hell, you’ll have to go through Atlanta first.” This idea stems from the fact that Atlanta always has been and will continue to be the hub of transportation in the U.S. Whether you reside in Georgia, have vacationed there, or have quickly driven through, it’s a phenomenal state known for its peaches, poultry, pecans, and peanuts. It’s the birthplace of Coca-Cola, the home of the Masters Golf Tournament, the setting of many classic Hollywood films, and the birthplace of several famous celebrities. Because of its popularity in all these other aspects, this amazing state has inspired over 50 popular songs throughout history. Here are four of the most popular Georgia-themed songs. 1. ‘Georgia on My Mind’ by Ray Charles Although often associated with Ray Charles, the tune actually dates back to 1930. However,

it is Ray Charles’ 1960 version that is widely known. This ballad induces nostalgia as it evokes sweet and clear memories of moonlight through the pines and the welcoming arms of one’s home state. 2. ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ by The Charlie Daniels Band This famous 1979 song involves a Georgia boy’s pact with the devil. The devil was out collecting souls and hadn’t met his quota when he heard the protagonist, Johnny, playing his fiddle with great skill. 3. ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ by Gladys Knight & The Pips The subject in this 1973 song is a Georgia man who left his home state for Los Angeles, looking to become a star. He sold his car, pawned all his hopes, and bought a one-way ticket to the West Coast.

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As autumn sweeps through Georgia, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts gear up for another exciting season in the woods. But as you pack up your gear for your next hunting trip, make sure you’ve brushed up on some important outdoor recreation laws so you can avoid harmful and confusing situations like the following case.

Who’s to blame when a hunter dies on someone else’s land?

Cauldron Costume Dracula Ghost

Halloween Hallows Eve

Scary Stories Spooky Trick-or-Treat Zombie

An owner of some land in Georgia leased it out to another man who was interested in starting a hunting club. The terms of this contract specified that the land could be used by the lessee for hunting and included language that allowed others onto the land if they were hunting. The lessee allowed another man onto the land to scout for future hunting trips, but, unfortunately, the man accidentally drove his ATV over a boarded-up well, fell into it, and died. The man’s wife filed a lawsuit against the landowner, but the defendant claimed that since the woman’s husband was on the land under the terms of the lease and for hunting purposes, the incident was nothing more than a horrible accident and that the recreational- use statute protected him from liability. In Georgia, the recreational-use statute states that a landowner who allows another person to use their land for recreational wildlife purposes — such as hunting or fishing — is not liable for personal injuries resulting from the unsafe conditions of the land. The court dismissed the wife’s claims under the recreational-use statute, explaining that the terms in the lease were met, even though the husband was scouting to hunt rather than actually hunting. The court determined there was no difference, and if the plaintiff’s husband wasn’t there for hunting, he was a trespasser. In this case, the landowner would have no responsibility for the man’s actions. The recreational-use statute is just one Georgia law intended to protect landowners and hunters this season. Learn more about laws applied in real cases by visiting the Simon Law Firm’s blog online at . If you do find yourself injured this hunting season, contact us for a free consultation by calling 404-259-7635 .

Haunted Pumpkin



3 packages unflavored gelatin

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract Powdered sugar, to coat

• •

1 cup light corn syrup 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

DIRECTIONS 1. In a mixing bowl, combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water. Let sit while you make the syrup. 2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water until the sugar dissolves. 3. Raise heat to high and bring syrup up to 240 F, using a candy thermometer to check for temperature. 4. With an electric whisk on low speed, slowly whisk syrup into gelatin mixture. Switch speed to high and whip for 15 minutes, until very thick. Fold in vanilla after whipping. 5. Dust a nonmetal baking dish with powdered sugar and spoon mixture into dish. Smooth mixture, top with more powdered sugar, and let stand uncovered overnight. 6. Cut into squares, decorate, and serve. | 3

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2860 Piedmont Rd NE #210 Atlanta, GA 30305


After July 1, you will get a ticket for holding a cellphone in your car, even at a stop light! Georgia will be strictly enforcing the new law starting July 1! You can only hold your phone if legally parked, not just stopped in traffic. You must use an earbud or Bluetooth device to use the phone in a car. Be careful out there and stay safe!

i Football Scares Me 1 Trick-or-Treating Safety!

4 Famous Songs Inspired by the Great State of Georgia 2 Homemade Marshmallows Know the Laws This Hunting Season 3 3 of the Weirdest Cryptids in Pseudoscientific History 4

The Monsters Some Believe Are Real

3 of the Weirdest Cryptids in Pseudoscientific History

There are people who would have you believe that monsters live among us all year long. These individuals, referred to as cryptozoologists (or just “wishful thinkers” by their skeptics), believe a hidden animal kingdom exists just beyond the edge of mainstream biological science. Here are three of the weirdest, almost-certainly imaginary “cryptids” to ever capture the human imagination. The Jersey Devil According to legend, the 1.1 million-acre Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey are home to more than just birds and deer. The story goes that when one Jane Leeds gave birth to her 13th child, she was dismayed to add yet another kid to her responsibilities. She cried out, “Oh, let this one be the devil!” Shortly after the child was born, the boy was transmogrified into a twisted creature with the malformed head of a goat, leathery wings, and a thrashing, forked tail. After slicing the midwife with its

ragged claws, the beast flew up the chimney and fled into the trees. Hundreds of years later, the beast is still said to creep the backwoods on its cloven hooves, glowering from the blackness with shining, red eyes. The Bunyip When European settlers began edging into the territory of Aboriginal Australians, they heard whispered, frightened tales of a man-eating “water spirit” that lived in the lakes and rivers of the area. Descriptions of the creature varied wildly. The monster was alternately described as an enormous starfish, an alligator-like creature with the head of an emu, or a massive bulldog-faced beast. But accounts held one thing in common: The monster claimed the lives of any who dared camp near its watery domain. The Loveland Frog One night, near Loveland, Ohio, a man reportedly beheld a trio of bipedal frog-people

slapping their webbed feet along the side of the road. If that wasn’t enough, one even had a magic wand, which shot sparks as the man ran off. Apparently, not all mythical beasts are bloodthirsty monsters; some are a little more Kermit than Cthulhu.

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