UPDATE to DeKalb TSA Plan Litigation

On June 1, 2018, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued an Opinion that (1) overturned the dismissal of Plaintiffs’ claims; (2) determined that the District is liable as  a matter of law for breaching its legal duty to the employees; (3) ruled the Plaintiffs were entitled to judgment on liability in their favor, with only issues of damages calculations remaining for trial by jury; and (4) ruled that the trial court must reconsider class certification in light of this Opinion.

 

Georgia Watch Challenges Public Service Commission

On behalf of Georgia Watch, Barnes Law Group has filed a petition to contest in court a decision of the Georgia Public Service Commission approving the continuation of the Vogtle nuclear expansion project despite a near doubling of the original budget, expansive execution risks due to a recent bankruptcy and a five-year delay of commercial operation. According to the filing, the Commission’s decision violates Georgia law and the Commission’s own rules. “In both process and outcome, the PSC unfairly tilted the scales in favor of Georgia Power’s shareholders,” says John Salter, an attorney at the Barnes Law Group who is representing Georgia Watch along with former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes.

http://www.georgiawatch.org/georgia-watch-challenges-public-service-commission-decision-on-plant-vogtle/

BLG helps Cobb, Gwinnett File Suit for $50 Million Owed for Local 911 Services

MARIETTA, GA—Today, the state’s second and third largest counties filed a series of lawsuits in federal and state court against fifteen Georgia telephone service providers for failing to bill, collect, and turn over the proper 911 fees designed by state law to fund local 911 operations. The lawsuits seek to recover for Cobb and Gwinnett’s 911 systems more than $50 million for three years of alleged unpaid fees.

“These suits are necessary because the telephone service providers have a statutory and fiduciary responsibility under Georgia law to properly bill, collect, and remit 911 fees,” said Roy E. Barnes, counsel for Cobb and Gwinnett counties. “We believe, based on the evidence we have received, that responsibility has not been met. These monies need to be paid for the benefit of the counties’ 911 systems.”

Fifteen telephone service providers allegedly are misrepresenting the types and number of phone lines upon which the 911 fees are applied and are significantly under-billing customers, the suits say. The under collection of 911 fees for each line allegedly translates to a $9 million annual loss in Cobb County and an $8 million annual loss in Gwinnett County. The Counties contend these funds are necessary and should have been available for improvements to Cobb and Gwinnett’s 911 systems. The legislature approved the collection of these funds to support the critical lifesaving mission of 911 systems.

“The failure of these companies to pay their obligations could eventually result in the taxpayers of Cobb and Gwinnett counties picking up the bill. The taxpayers should not have to supplement this gap,” said Barnes.

Roy Barnes, John Bevis and Matthew Wilson of Barnes Law Group and David Worley and James Evangelista of Harris Penn Lowry are representing Cobb and Gwinnett Counties in the litigation. No taxpayer dollars will be spent on the litigation. If the lawsuits fail, neither county will owe legal fees.

The individual lawsuits are against major telecommunications carriers operating in each County, including BellSouth Telecommunications, LLC (d/b/a AT&T Georgia); Verizon Enterprise Solutions, LLC; Bandwidth.com CLEC, LLC; Broadriver Communication Corporation; Broadvox, LLC; CBeyond Communications, LLC; Charter Fiberlink – Georgia, LLC; Earthlink, LLC (and its subsidiaries Business Telecom, Inc. and DeltaCom, LLC); Inteliquent, Inc.; Level 3 Communications, LLC; Network Telephone, LLC; Peerless Network of Georgia, LLC; Windstream Communications, Inc (and its subsidiaries NuVox Communications, Inc. and Southern Digital); XO Communications Services, LLC; and YMax Communications Corp.

The lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, and the Superior Courts of Gwinnett County, and Fulton County.

The Barnes Law Group, LLC– www.barneslawgroup.com
Founded in 2003 in Marietta, Georgia, The Barnes Law Group, LLC, is anchored by former Georgia Governor Roy E. Barnes. The firm has received national recognition and distinction for its skill and advocacy on behalf of citizens and consumers. Although small in number, BLG’s legal team is comprised of dedicated talents that create a formidable group of trial attorneys in complex litigation matters. Collectively, BLG attorneys have recovered over $1 billion for consumers and injured plaintiffs.

Harris Penn Lowry LLP — www.hpllegal.com
Founded in 2006, Harris Penn Lowry LLP, handles large-scale litigation throughout the United States. With offices in Atlanta and Savannah, Ga., the firm’s partners are sought-after, highly skilled trial lawyers, who have gained impressive reputations for past trial work, including many multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.

FAST SIGN v. AMERICAN HOME SERVICES

If you have received a fax from our office about a class action, it is NOT a scam and is legitimate.

Please visit the Class Administrator’s website to learn how to submit a claim.  This claim must be submitted by December 24, 2014.

Please visit www.ahsclassaction.com or call the hotline at 1/844-322-8241 for more information.

US TERROR VICTIMS WIN BATTLE OVER SYRIAN FUNDS

Congratulations to John Salter, for your hard work and MAKING IT RIGHT. John Salter said, “Representing these brave, patient and determined women is one of the greatest privileges of my professional life. Thanks also to Roy (Barnes), for trusting me with the case, our great staff and my very able co-counsel. But especially thanks to my clients for never giving up.”

Top Georgia Verdicts of 2010

BLG partners Roy Barnes and John Bevis  have been recognized in the FCDR’s “Top Georgia Verdicts of 2010” for securing a $14 Million recovery in Kahn v. Fortis Insurance Company et. al., an insurance class action lawsuit brought on behalf of individuals and small businesses.  Kahn is ranked as the #1 highest recovery in Georgia for an insurance case, and the 7th highest recovery among all Georgia cases in 2010.  Here’s to MAKING IT RIGHT…It’s What We Do! 

Making It Right for Victims of Predatory Lending

Barnes Law Group possesses particular expertise in the area of consumer fraud.  It’s the core of our practice, and our lawyers have reached multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements in cases involving corporate dishonesty, predatory lending, and accounting fraud. The firm continues its mission to prosecute cases involving unscrupulous, fraudulent, and predatory consumer practices, especially those targeting the elderly, poor, and minorities as victims.

BLG has resolved and is currently handling several cases involving illegal loans that impose excessive and usurious interest rates.  Generally, a “payday loan” transaction involves an advance to a borrower of $500 or less which is due to be repaid within a short period of time, usually two weeks.  The borrower is required to write the lender a check in the amount of the advance, plus an additional fee imposed by the lender for making the loan.  The check is held by the lender until the borrower’s next payday.  The most recent case settled for $4 million.

Payday Lending Cases:
Evans/Reid v. USA Payday Stores
King/Strong v. Advance America

BLG Wins $400 Million for Al-Zarqawi Victims’ Family

On a cool morning in September 2004, Marietta subcontractor Jack Hensley performed a daily ritual: he walked out of his house in United Arab Emirates to start the generator for he and the other subcontractors living there while they helped rebuild Iraq.  But this morning was different.

Jack was surrounded by al-Quaida militants and, along with his fellow housemates, abducted.  A few days later, Jack was gruesomely beaten and beheaded.  His death played out in a video that played across international television screens.

Left to pick up the pieces, Jack’s widow, Pati, and daughter turned to BLG for justice.  In a trial that took place in the United States District Court of the District of Columbia, BLG partners Roy E. Barnes and John F. Salter sued the country of Syria for aiding and supporting the terrorists who abducted and killed Jack.

Judge Rosemary Collyer awarded Pati and the family of another slain American subcontractor over $400 million in damages in 2008.  After two years, the appeals process has finally concluded.

As partner John F. Salter stated, “It is an extraordinary testament to the fortitude of these families. No one should ever have to witness a family member suffering such unspeakable brutality. They hoped the judge’s order would send a message. Together, I think we did exactly that.”

 

DeKalb Teachers Call-in BLG to Make It Right

When DeKalb County School District teachers Elaine Gold and Amy Shaye needed someone to stand up for them, they turned to BLG.  BLG recently brought suit against the district in a class-action on behalf of the two career teachers.

The suit involves a promise made – but not kept – by the district when they stopped contributing to a teacher retirement plan that was part of the teachers’ benefits package.  While the district is within their rights to eliminate the contributions, they are required by their own district policy to give a two-year notice to all teachers affected by the change.  Rather than follow this policy, the district simply stopped paying into the retirement system.

The lawsuit, which was featured in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article today, simply seeks payment by the district for contributions over the past two years that were never paid.