Written by: Lissa F. Klein, Esq. We often think of O.C.G.A. §34-9-8 as a statute that addresses the liability of principal contractors as “statutory employers” in the context of construction; however, this Code Section is not limited to just such a scenario.  Instead, Georgia courts have addressed claims where O.C.G.A. §34-9-8 works to bar tort claims against owners on the grounds that the owner also qualifies as a statutory employer under O.C.G.A. §34-9-8 and is thus granted immunity from tort liability. The Georgia Supreme Court has held that as a general rule, an owner who is simply in possession or control of the premises is not a statutory employer and is not immune from tort liability.  However, an owner can obtain “contractor” status where he also serves as a contractor for another entity and hires another contractor to perform the work on the premises.  Thus, an owner who owes a…       Read More

Compiled by Richard Sheinis, Esq. ‘Guccifer’ hacker who exposed secret Clinton email account expected to plead guilty Washington Post Marcel Lehel Lazar, a Romanian computer hacker known also as “Guccifer,” is expected to plead guilty in federal court Wednesday to charges related This Diabetes Activist Hacked her Medical Device and Made an Artificial Pancreas Motherboard Usually when humans are doing something for which a computer would be much superior, such as performing calculations, a company will jump in … Top Story: 117 Million People At Risk In LinkedIn Data Breach Komando In 2012, it was believed that less than seven million LinkedIn passwords were stolen in a huge data breach. LinkedIn confirmed the breach and start … On data privacy, Congress and agencies are both baffled JD Supra Privacy is a hot-button issue. There is a raging war today for the personal data of the average consumer, and a Maginot…       Read More

Compiled by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. Kroger, Wendy’s, Kiddicare Suffer Data Breaches eSecurity Planet Three retailers were recently hit by data breaches that exposed significant amounts of customer and employee data, including names, email … Hospital suffers data breach as employee steals over the course of seven years SiliconANGLE (blog) Sometimes a data breach can be a quick strike and resolution, other times it’s a long game. In the case of UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital, … Biometric data: security and ease negate passwords, but is it private? SC Magazine UK Compared to passwords, authentication through biometric data is simpler to use and can be much more secure. A joint research report from Nok Nok … 13 latest data breaches Becker’s Hospital Review 1. Some patients at Cincinnati-based Mayfield Brain & Spine clinic received emails containing malware after an unauthorized person accessed the … Hacker pleads guilty in US over press release insider…       Read More

Written by: Sean Cox, Esq. and Don Benson, Esq. This month the United States Departments of Education and Justice issued Guidelines intended to direct educational institutions in how Title IX requirements apply to transgender students, or students whose sex assigned at birth differs from their gender identity. A copy of the Guidelines and suggested practices can be found here. The DOJ and DOE have also issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” that provides school administrators with instructions and explanations on the subject. Under Title IX, educational institutions, as a condition of receiving federal funds, must agree that they will not discriminate on the basis of the sex of any person in its educational programs or activities. The overriding premise of the new Guidelines is that Title IX’s sex discrimination protections also apply to transgender students. The Guidelines go into detail regarding potential issues and explain various methods for addressing those issues. However,…       Read More

Compiled by Richard Sheinis, Esq. Preparing for Online Attacks in Hospital Data Security HeathITSecurity.com Following recent headlines highlighting online attacks to hospital data security around the country, many are discussing the growth of not only … Google suffers data breach via benefits provider CSO Online Data breaches are always a horrible thing when you are on the side that has been tasked with defending the realm from invaders. When you get that … Kroger warns past, present employees of possible compromise after Equifax W-2Express breach SC Magazine Kroger alerted current and former employees this week that their data – including Social Security numbers and birth dates – may have been … 40 million User Data from Adult Social Network Emerges on Dark Net Hack Read The news has been verified by Fling as they confirmed the data being authentic but they added that this is the result of a five-year-old…       Read More

Written by: Michael Memberg, Esq. The Georgia Court of Appeals was recently asked to decide if a horrific case of workplace violence constituted an injury as defined by the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act.  In summary, a convicted felon lied on a job application to get hired by a staffing company.  One day while on a work assignment, the felon tragically shot a co-worker in the back of the head before sexually assaulting a female employee.  The victim’s mother brought a wrongful death suit against the staffing company and the supervising employer, but the trial court granted summary judgment based on the exclusive remedy provisions of the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act. On February 15, 2016, the Court of Appeals issued its first decision in Sturgess v. OA Logistics Services, finding that the murder did not arise out of the victim’s employment because there was no connection between the victim’s employment and…       Read More

Written by: Don Benson, Esq. The Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”),  passed by both houses of Congress, is headed to President Barack Obama for his signature and his office has stated it “strongly supports” the legislation. On April 4, the U.S. Senate passed the DTSA by a vote of 87-0. The Senate bill passed in the House on April 27, by a vote of 410-2. New Protections Under the DTSA: Damages: The DTSA provides for actual damages, restitution, injunctive relief,  exemplary relief (up to two times the award of actual damages), and attorney’s fees. Ex parte Seizure: Ex parte property seizures are available by a court order  to seize misappropriated trade secrets without providing prior notice to the alleged wrongdoer. To prevent potential abuse,  the DTSA prohibits copies to be made of seized property, and requires that ex parte orders provide specific instructions for law enforcement officers, such as when the seizure can take…       Read More