Allison Barnes Salter to run for Cobb State Court Bench

BLG is pleased to announce that our managing partner Allison Barnes Salter intends to run for an open seat on the Cobb County State Court bench.  We are very proud of Allison and look forward to enthusiastically supporting her.  More details to come soon!

 

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.

VW Emissions Cheating Scam

In yet another major automaker controversy, VW has admitted that it equipped almost 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. and 5 million worldwide with “defeat devices” that allow its vehicles to secretly turn off pollution controls when the car is being driven down the road.  When the software is turned off, the cars emit pollutant gases into the air, including nitrogen oxide in amounts as much as 40 percent higher than emissions standards allow.  But the software turns the devices on when the car is undergoing an emissions test.

The U.S. vehicles presently in question are the diesel VW Jetta, Beetle, Golf, and Passat and the Audi A3 model year 2009 and newer, but we expect the list of vehicles to increase as this latest automaker scam is exposed.

It is time for corporations to be held accountable like the rest of us.  If you have one of these vehicles and would like to stand up against automaker fraud like this, please give us a call.

New York Times Exposes Scheme To Cheat Servicemembers – and YOU – out of Legal Rights

When the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Services are protecting our country, they should not have to worry about financial frauds and schemes at home. To alleviate some of this burden, Congress passed the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which grants certain legal protections to members of the military. Unfortunately, corporations including USAA and JPMorgan Chase have found a way to violate the SCRA law without being held accountable — forced arbitration.

The New York Times exposed this abusive practice in a front page story that you can read below.   As you will see, this is not limited to servicemembers’ rights. This could – and likely does – apply to you because forced arbitration is found in everything from cell phone contracts, to bank terms of service, to even nursing home admission forms.

Failed by Law and Courts, Troops Come Home to Repossessions, New York Times, March 16, 2015.

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.”

Matthew Wilson Passes the Georgia Bar

LATEST NEWS…. Congratulations to W. Matthew Wilson for passing the Georgia Bar Exam.  BLG is pleased to welcome Matthew to our profession and to our firm.

 

JEEP RECALL

On June 6, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requested a recall of 2.7 million Grand Cherokee (model year 1993 – 2004) and Liberty (model year 2002 – 2007) Jeeps.  The government says 51 people have suffered fiery deaths from a rear end collision because the gas tanks ARE mounted behind the rear axles AND MAY EXPLODE ON IMPACT.  Chrysler initially refused but has now agreed to recall 1.6 million of the vehicles to inspect and, if necessary, make repairs on the vehicles.  Rather than placing a steel plate over the plastic gas tank, as public interest groups like the Center for Auto Safety had called for, it will simply install a factory trailer hitch to provide some protection in the case of a low-speed, rear-end collision.

As always, there is never a cost or obligation just to talk with our lawyers and case managers.

 

 

UPDATE To All Class Members in Payday Lender Case

Congrats to Roy Barnes, John Bevis and Cam Tribble on a victory at the Georgia Court of Appeals against Georgia Cash America, a large payday lender.  The Court of Appeals agreed with BLG after reviewing a persuasive, well researched brief by Cam Tribble, that the borrowers’ claims against Georgia Cash America should be tried to a jury.  After 8 years of litigation, Georgia Cash will not be able to escape a jury’s determination of their many violations of law.   Read More!

Veteran Challenges Title Loan Company In Court

Click here to read an article appearing in the Marietta Daily Journal by Katy Ruth Camp about Army Staff Sgt. Jason Cox’s lawsuit pending against Community Loans of America.