Law Office of William F. Underwood - December 2018

Justice MONTHLY

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DECEMBER 2018

In the Aftermath PULLING TOGETHER AFTER HURRICANE MICHAEL A s most Georgians know, hurricanes usually skirt along our coasts, sending heavy rains and winds our way. Though not as devastating as they could be, these storms can cause some damage. But it was kind of local lore that Georgia had been hurricane-free for decades. from. For example, within the first few days of the devastation, I saw an electrical truck from Jacksonville, Florida, drive by. It’s amazing that a state like Florida, which is consistently slapped by hurricanes every year and wasn’t missed by Michael, would feel compelled to help other states struggling to cope with their once-in-a-lifetime storm.

Then Hurricane Michael hit.

Similarly, we had linemen from all over the region work tirelessly to restore power, and the Red Cross and FEMA responded quickly to food and water needs. Even before them, we had others who stepped up to provide essentials to our community. It was a collaborative effort of restoration. We’d been knocked down, and we were now equipped to come back fighting. All the help we received following the hurricane has really struck me, and it’s made me realize the need to give back more when these disasters happen. Like most people, I didn’t realize the magnitude of a hurricane until I experienced it. There’s a complete loss of infrastructure, and basic essentials, like food, shelter, and water, are more urgently needed. It’s a complex feeling to go from worrying about your day-to-day tasks to suddenly wondering when your power will come back on or if you have enough water. I’m beyond thankful that my family and I were safe during and after Hurricane Michael, and I’m proud of the way Georgia and the southeastern coast have fought back. Thank you to everyone who has helped; it made the aftermath of our rare hurricane a little bit easier to navigate.

In early October, Hurricane Michael made landfall in four states, including Georgia. Residents began to prepare and hunker down as Michael picked up speed and power and barreled toward the southeastern U.S. coastline. I remember seeking shelter in my bathtub and losing power, as most residents did. A tree hit my home, causing damage to my roof, but thankfully, it didn’t plunge through the ceiling below. I know God was watching over me that day, and I’m thankful I only have minor damage to contend with. This is nothing compared to what others are now faced with cleaning up. Entire communities, like Mexico Beach, Florida, were wiped off the map. Schools closed indefinitely. Residents may be forced to move from the towns they’ve always known. Families lost loved ones — specifically 19 loved ones, at last count. The death toll included an 11-year-old girl in Georgia, who was visiting her grandparents when she was killed by a metal carport that came through the roof of the house. The devastation didn’t discriminate between state lines, class, or race. It hit everyone in its path. But there’s something about Southerners that you don’t understand until you live here: We’re resilient. I was so proud to see the help that was coming our way in the aftermath of this hurricane, and I was equally amazed to see where it came

-William F. “Trey” Underwood, III

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KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR BEFORE THEY ATTACK 4 WINTER ILLNESSES YOU’D RATHER AVOID

Achoo! That’s the last noise you want to hear this winter. Cold weather brings a slew of sicknesses, so be vigilant to treat these common illnesses, or better yet, avoid them altogether. The Common Cold Although there is no cure, a cold is easier to treat than other illnesses. If you or a loved one has a runny nose, low-grade fever, headache, cough, nasal congestion, or sore throat, the common cold has most likely taken hold. With the help of rest and perhaps some cold medicine, like cough drops and decongestants, the cold will come and go in about a week. Bronchiolitis Bronchiolitis appears most commonly in children less than a year old and is caused by other viruses. Of the many symptoms — nasal congestion, low-grade fevers, and coughing — wheezing is the one you should be most concerned about. If your child is having difficulty breathing and is dehydrated, they may have caught a more serious strain of the virus. Most children will recover with at-home rest, but some may need to be hospitalized for more severe symptoms. Influenza The flu is known for causing high fever, muscle aches and pains, nausea, and other symptoms similar to a cold. Often, the fever will last for around five days, but it can be

shortened with the aid of antiviral medications. However, these medications are recommended only for children who face serious complications or hospitalization from the flu. If you want to avoid catching this, your best bet is to receive the annual flu vaccine.

Strep Throat A sore throat, headache, stomach ache, vomiting, and high fever are signs of strep. This infection is treated with antibiotics and should be addressed soon after the first symptoms appear

to prevent further complications. Children with strep throat should stay away from school and other activities until they’ve been on antibiotics for 24 hours.

Everyone knows that getting sick is no fun and is best avoided at all costs. However, it happens to everyone eventually. Catching a virus or infection in its early stages can help you shake the sickness much faster.

PROPERTY PREDICAMENTS UNDERSTANDING THE BASIS FOR A PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIM

You put your faith in strangers every day. But when they fail you, there can be dire consequences. You shouldn’t have to worry about whether your favorite coffee shop or mechanic’s garage is going to hurt you, but if you get injured on someone else’s property, you have a right to compensation. Despite what insurance companies claim, building owners, landlords, or lessees — not victims — may be at fault for hazardous conditions on their properties. These spaces have a legal expectation to be safe zones for patrons. So if these properties are found to be noncompliant with safety requirements, they may face a premises liability claim following an injury. As a patron, you have a responsibility to be a safe guest, but your presence somewhere does not make you responsible for any injuries you sustain.

repair stairs, it could be liable for any injuries that are sustained as a result. Refusing to fix leaks or leaving unsafe chemicals exposed are also common disregards for safety. Avoiding proper home care can leave a homeowner liable for any injuries sustained on their property. Dog bites on a home or business owner’s property can also be a premises liability lawsuit, because pet owners have a responsibility to keep their animals controlled. Legal representation can help you get the compensation you deserve. Most insurance companies will blame the victim to avoid having to make a big payout on behalf of their careless clients. Yet, Georgia’s premises liability laws can be complicated, especially for victims. You must prove the owner had knowledge of the dangerous situation and did nothing to fix it, and you have to prove you were a responsible customer or guest. A lawyer well- versed in these laws can help you navigate your case. At the Law Offices of William F. Underwood, III, P.C., we’ve spent years fighting insurance companies and negligent parties to help our clients get the compensation they deserve. If you were injured on someone else’s property, call us at 229-888-0888.

Property negligence comes in many forms — some less obvious than others. If a business fails to clean up spills or doesn’t properly

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Have you or someone you love been prescribed Risperdal in the last 18 years?

Have you suffered from any of its many hidden side effects, including male breast growth, weight gain, heart attack, stroke, or the premature onset of puberty in young females?

IF SO, RISPERDAL IS LIKELY TO BLAME, AND YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO SUBSTANTIAL COMPENSATION.

Risperdal is a powerful antipsychotic drug approved in 1994 for use in treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults. However, it wasn’t approved for use in elderly patients and children, despite extensive efforts by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J). Flying in the face of recommendations, J&J continued to market to these groups for a number of off- label uses, such as treating behavioral issues related to ADHD, dementia, and autism. Though the drug was eventually approved for children by the FDA in 2006, and later for elderly patients, J&J continued to employ shady practices to market the drug for off-label use, specifically for anxiety, agitation, confusion, depression, and generalized hostility. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice slapped J&J and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, with a hefty $2.2 billion fine for pushing and selling the drug for these unapproved uses — one of the largest healthcare-related fraud settlements ever.

Throughout this process, J&J has allegedly been hiding knowledge about all kinds of nasty side effects related to Risperdal, including a heightened risk of stroke, heightened risk of cardiac events, increased risk of Type II diabetes, hyperprolactinemia (premature puberty), and gynecomastia (the development of enlarged breasts in men). These issues have caused hundreds of patients undue stress, humiliation, and health problems, even proving fatal in many cases. If you or someone you know has taken Risperdal since it was approved and has suffered from any of the side effects listed above, call the Law Offices of William F. Underwood today at 229.888.0888 for a free consultation. We’ll help you determine whether you have a case and ensure you receive every penny of compensation you deserve.

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1918 DAWSON RD. ALBANY, GA 31707

Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with internal bleeding?

Have you or your loved one been prescribed Xarelto in the past few years? IF SO, THE DRUG MAY BE TO BLAME — AND YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO FINANCIAL COMPENSATION. Since being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011, Xarelto has been prescribed to numerous patients in order to reduce the risk of strokes, DVT, blood clots, and other problems.

Unfortunately, Xarelto has been linked to a dangerous condition called thrombocytopenia (thin blood) in numerous patients in recent years. Symptoms associated with complications from Xarelto include:

- Gastrointestinal (or GI) bleeding - Brain hemorrhage or stroke - Pulmonary embolism - Spinal bleeding and epidural hematoma - Rectal or colon bleeding - Liver dysfunction

Recent findings indicate that Xarelto manufacturers Bayer and Johnson & Johnson have provided inadequate warnings about the dangers associated with the drug.

If you or someone you know has suffered any of the above symptoms after taking Xarelto, call Trey Underwood today at 229.888.0888. Get the justice you deserve.

FAST-FOOD FAILURES 2 Personal Injury Cases Against Fast-Food Chains

Zoinks! It’s a McMystery When New York City police officer John Florio bit down into his late-night Big Mac from a local McDonald’s in 2005, he wasn’t expecting glass to be an ingredient in the special sauce. When he reported the incident to his fellow officers, the local McDonald’s was searched for glass and a perpetrator. An 18-year-old named Albert Garcia confessed to sprinkling glass on Florio’s burger after hours of interrogation. Five years later and after recanting his story, Garcia was acquitted by a New York jury. Subsequently, Florio was awarded $15,000 from McDonald’s in a settlement, but his story has been called into question. No doctors could pinpoint any internal injuries that would be consistent with swallowing glass, and his timeline is confusing. Yet, Florio claims he

Sometimes you just need a quick bite at your favorite fast-food chain. These establishments have become a guilty pleasure for many Americans, but unfortunately for the following patrons, a quick bite became a prolonged nightmare. Read on about two personal injury cases that were prompted after customers tried to satisfy their indulgences. A Knife Day for a Sub With its fresh ingredients and speedy time between ordering and eating, Subway has become a staple of the sandwich industry.

But according to one New York man, they made a costly — and almost deadly — mistake. A decade ago, this man bit into his sandwich and felt the end of a melted knife. Apparently, a knife had been baked into one of this Subway’s breads. The man didn’t swallow any pieces, but he claimed the food made him sick for hours after eating it. He asserted that the bacteria on the knife caused his severe stomach pains. The man sued the sandwich chain for $1 million and was awarded $20,000.

found three pieces of glass in his stool, and his fellow officers back him up. Garcia filed his own lawsuit against the city and Florio for personal damages and was awarded $437,000. To this day, no one knows the real story, but they might someday — the Big Mac remains in a police-evidence freezer in New York.

Have a Laugh!

Roasted Delicata Squash With Almonds

Ingredients •

3 delicata squash (about 1 pound each), halved and seeded 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or smoked paprika

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 1/4 cup roasted almonds, preferably Marcona, coarsely chopped 1 teaspoon agave nectar Chopped fresh chives, to garnish

• •

Directions 1. Heat an oven to 350 F. 2. On a workspace, brush cut sides of squash with olive oil and season cavity with salt, pepper, and Aleppo or paprika. 3. Place squash cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes. 4. Remove squash from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, and top with crushed almonds, chives, and a drizzle of oil and agave nectar. 5. Serve immediately.

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inside Hurricane Michael’s Aftermath PAGE 1 What Do My Symptoms Mean? PAGE 2 Navigating a Premises Liability Claim PAGE 2 Interesting Personal Injury Cases PAGE 3 Roasted Delicata Squash With Almonds PAGE 3 The History of the 3 Wise Men PAGE 4

Wise Men or Sorcerers? THE HISTORY OF THE MAGI The story of the three wise men visiting Jesus is a focal point in the Judeo-Christian telling of the birth of the Christ. Their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh demonstrate reverence for the child through symbolism: Gold symbolized kingship; frankincense was commonly burned in temples and represented the spiritual stature that Jesus “Magi” comes from the Greek word “magos,” which means magic. Early interpretations of magos included alchemy and sorcery along with astronomy. Speculations swirl among many biblical scholars about the true nature of the Magi, as some tellings portray them as illusionists or fortune-tellers.

would hold; and myrrh was used in preparing bodies for burial, foreshadowing his eventual crucifixion. While the Magi’s role in the birth of Jesus is well-known, not much is understood about the men themselves and their connection to the baby in the manger. Historically known as Magi, the three “wise men” are known for their study of the stars. The Magi were some of the earliest astrologers. Until the 17th century, astrology and astronomy weren’t separate fields of study. Astrology included both the study of how the stars and planets affect human life and the position and motion of the cosmic bodies.

In a cultural context, the Magi were revered across the Middle East. Along with their knowledge, they had stature and wealth that allowed them to bestow gifts upon those they deemed important. The act of giving presents to a child wasn’t a regular practice for the Magi, and thus the event was significant for the time. While only three Magi are portrayed in the familiar nativity story, the real event would have included many servants. As a matter of fact, the Bible never mentions the number of Magi who visited Jesus, leaving interpretations open as to how many Magi traveled to Bethlehem.

In the Persian Empire, Magi were known as astrologer-priests, delineating the fate of men they saw written in the stars. But while they are known for interpreting the significance of planetary movements for human life, many historians suggest there could have been more to their jobs than astrology.

In the early seventh century, the Magi were pushed to the outer rims of Africa and India due to the rising popularity of Islam. Since someone could only be considered Magi by birth, it is widely accepted that the line of succession eventually ended, and the Magi faded into history.

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