Every Small Business Needs a Lawyer

Almost all of my small business clients have come to me because some other business breached its contract with my client, defrauded my client, infringed on a trademark or wrongfully foreclosed on their business property. Those actions can be tough for businesses of any sie, but they can hit small businesses even harder.

Thankfully, we have been able to step in and help our clients get back on track. We aren't just able to recover for the immediate losses, we also seek to recover the lost profits. This has allowed the businesses to survive and prosper.

Many of these businesses have become long term clients -- not because they keep having problems, but because they have discovered that we can help them in many ways other than litigation. Our experience comes from many years in litigation, all of which involved settlement negotiations, sometimes into the millions of dollars. Those negotiations have given us a significant expertise in business negotiations.

Those skills have been very useful in helping clients negotiate all forms of contracts, including the sale or partial sale of business assets. We have also reviewed our clients' business contracts and written additional contracts to try to keep them from more litigation.

These contracts have included international trade agreements, which have their own special provisions due to the international nature of the contracts and special requirements of some countries, such as Indonesia, in order to do business there.

Of course, one law firm is not the best for every legal need -- not even the mega-firms. One size does not fit all. So when one of our business clients comes up with a problem we don't handle, we know from all of our experience the best lawyer to hire for that problem. We have done that many times for our business clients.

So why does every business need a lawyer? For all of the items mentioned above which will eventually come into play with your business, if they have not already done so.

Lloyd Gathings, Senior Partner

 

Drive Carefully This Weekend

St. Patrick’s Day can be a fun holiday. In our house, it’s time for corned beef and cabbage and a whole lot of green clothing. And for many people, the holiday means a glass of Irish whiskey and green beer. That’s what also makes it a dangerous holiday.

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From 2010 to 2014, the National Highway Transportation Administration found that 266 people were killed in car crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period. A high number of those deaths came because of crashes involving drunk drivers. 

Stay safe on the roads this weekend. Even if you haven’t been drinking, there will unfortunately be plenty of drivers who have been drinking. And if you are walking, watch out for drunk drivers as well.

And remember, if you or a loved one is injured because of a drunk driver this weekend, we've got your back. Call me, I'd love to help.

Lloyd
 

Be Careful at Work and on the Roads! Daylight Saving Time is Here.

Feeling a little more tired this morning? You are not alone. You may be able to blame your fatigue the switch to Daylight Saving Time. It’s hard to get your body onto the new schedule and as a result, researchers have found that on average, Americans sleep 40 minutes less the night after “springing forward.”

That shift can mean you’re late to church on Sunday but on Monday it means you are more likely to get injured at work. The Atlantic took a look at some of the reasons why, focusing on a 2009 study of coal miners. That study showed that injuries jumped by more than 5 percent the Monday after DST began. And on top of that, the injuries that occurred on those Mondays were more severe!

When you realize that Americans are getting 40 minutes less sleep, the increase in injuries isn’t a big surprise. Many studies have shown the impact of fatigue on drivers and workers. Our own experiences likely back that up. You’re more likely to make mistakes (and so are those around you) when you are tired.

And not to add insult to injury but car accidents also increase the week after Daylight Saving Time begins. Researchers speculate that the increase is not only due to less sleep, but also because it stays darker later so while it may have been daylight last week when we drove to work, this week it’s dark.

So the bottom line for this week is that you should try to get to sleep a little earlier, drive a little more carefully, and be conscious of how tired those are around you. But if you are injured this week, please let me know. I’d like to help.

Lloyd 

PS You can read more about the DST studies in The Atlantic's article.

How Do Chemicals Still Get Into Our Water?

It’s a fact that companies all around us are using chemicals that are hazardous to our health. It’s simply unavoidable, you can’t make everything that companies do without using dangerous chemicals and substances. But the problems come when factories finish with those chemicals. How do they get rid of it?

A look at Garbage Mountain in Morgan County.

A look at Garbage Mountain in Morgan County.

I recently came across a story done by WHNT in Huntsville that did a good job explaining how dangerous chemicals ended up in the East Lawrence – West Morgan Water Authority’s supply. That’s the problem that cause the authority’s director to tell residents to stop drinking the water.

3M and other companies haven’t been using the chemicals, known as PFOA and PFOS, for years but they are still showing up in the water. Why? Well it’s because of how the chemicals were disposed of for years. WHNT visits a nearby landfill called Garbage Mountain and explains how it is where “3M dumped tons of industrial waste.”

WHNT was told that more contaminants can be found around the 3M property.

WHNT was told that more contaminants can be found around the 3M property.

Check out the story on WHNT’s website to see how this isn’t  a secret, in fact Alabama’s Department of Environmental Management has even approved the process. 

Lloyd

Alabama Governor Refuses to Test Residents for Contaminants

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Gathings Law recently filed a lawsuit against three companies that let chemicals get into the West Lawrence - East Morgan water systems. For years the companies, include 3M, let chemicals known as PFOA and PFOS get into the Tennessee River and eventually into the water authority’s intakes. That contamination came to a head when new regulations forced the water authority’s director to recommend people stop drinking the water last summer.

The question that remains is, how much damage have those chemicals done to residents of North Alabama who drank the water for years? Alabama governor Robert Bentley has decided not to ask the state to find out. He recently decided not to pursue additional blood tests for those residents.

As al.com reports, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a health advisory that described how the chemicals have been linked to health problems, including developmental problems in infants and cancers in adults.

Read the article for more information about the Governor’s decision and click here to find out more about the lawsuit Gathings Law filed on behalf of more than 300 residents against 3M, Daikin America, and Dyneon.

Hillsboro Mayor Files Water Pollution Lawsuit Against 3M and Others

Plaintiffs claim 3M Company, Inc. and Daikin American released dangerous pollutants into water for years

Hillsboro, Ala., February 15, 2017– Hillsboro mayor Charles Owens has filed a lawsuit against two companies responsible for water pollution in North Alabama. The mayor is joined by hundreds of his constituents and residents from neighboring communities in the lawsuit against 3M Company, Inc. and Daikin America. Mayor Owens alleges that the companies are responsible for dangerous pollutants being released into the Tennessee River for years and that those pollutants ended up in the residents’ drinking water.

In June, high levels of chemicals forced the East Lawrence-West Morgan Water Authority to tell its customers to stop drinking its water. Tests had found that there were high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in the water and the utility couldn’t guarantee it was safe to drink. At the time, Mayor Owens described how his residents were relying on donations of water to meet their needs, calling the work of community organizations a “blessing” for his small community. Thousands of North Alabama residents rely solely on the East Lawrence-West Morgan system for their water.

Owens and the other plaintiffs are represented by the Birmingham law firm Gathings Law. In the complaint filed on January 30, 2017, the plaintiffs claim that the companies’ negligent and willful conduct led to the toxic chemicals contaminating the water supply. Lead attorney Lloyd Gathings says, “Residents of North Alabama should be able to drink their water without fear that what’s coming out of their taps can cause them harm.”

The EPA has long warned that the chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, can be dangerous. Studies have shown that exposure to PFOA, PFOS, and related chemicals include cancer, thyroid disease, and high cholesterol. And alarmingly, the chemicals pose particular risks to pregnant women and their children as PFOS can cross through the placenta and has been detected in the umbilical cord blood of babies.

“3M has long been aware of the dangers that PFOA and PFOS pose to the people of North Alabama, yet the company continued to let the chemicals flow into the Tennessee River, just miles from the Water Authority’s intakes,” added Gathings.

Through their lawsuit, the residents are asking the Circuit Court of Lawrence County to force 3M Company, Inc. and the other defendants to immediately stop letting PFOA, PFOS and other chemicals into the Tennessee River. The lawsuit also asks that the companies compensate the residents for damages caused by the pollution. Gathings Law also intends to add more residents who are affected by this pollution to the initial lawsuit.

Gathings Law is a Birmingham-based law firm founded by Lloyd Gathings more than 20 years ago. His guiding principle, that everyone is entitled to the best representation and a level playing field when they enter court system, remains as true today as it did when he founded the firm. The firm specializes in complex litigation and throughout its history has recovered tens of millions of dollars in damages in environmental and pollution-related lawsuits across the Southeast.

Has your business lost so much money from a breached contract that you no longer can afford a lawyer?

If so, you are not the only one in that boat. Most small businesses can get into this situation from time to time. We understand that because it has happened to other small business clients represented by my firm. The presidents or owners of some of these businesses either could not afford to pay a high priced law firm on an hourly rate, or did not want to dig into their personal assets to do so.

My firm has in the past and will continue to represent small businesses in contract cases on a contingency basis so that our representation cost you nothing unless we obtain a recovery for you. Give me a call if we can be of help. The initial conference is always free.

Lloyd Gathings

Own Shares in a Corporation Where the Assets are Being Wasted?

Owning a business with other people can be a difficult proposition, particularly if you only own just a minority share of a business. You may not have an active role in the business but you still have your own money tied up in its operations. And you can feel trapped if you feel the company is being run poorly and your assets are being wasted, but the other owner or owners may not let you into the management of the company.

We see this situation occurring in family-owned businesses where one or more family members is taking all or most of the cash out of the corporation or diverting receivables to another business owned by them alone.  Sometimes a family member sells off assets of the corporation and keeps the money for themselves.  Not only does this deprive the other stockholders of corporate returns, if left unstopped a bankruptcy may not be too far around the corner.

Fortunately, if the situation cannot be settled out of court, the Code of Alabama provides relief. State law gives shareholders some options under § 10A-2-14.30:

"The circuit court of the county where a corporation's articles of incorporation are filed . . . may dissolve the corporation:

. . .

(2)  In a proceeding by a shareholder if it is established that: 

. . .

(iv)  The Corporate Assets are being misapplied or wasted."

 

If you find yourself in this situation, give us a call for a free, confidential conference to further discuss your case. We would love the opportunity to help.

Lloyd Gathings

Not sure if your company has a valid breach of contract claim?

It is not unusual for business owners and officers to wonder whether they have grounds for a valid breach of contract action, but need help knowing for sure. We are often called upon by our small business clients to look at contracts to determine whether there is a valid legal action, and, if so, to determine the best method for pursuing a recovery. Some contracts have mediation clauses in them and must be mediated. Other contract disputes can be settled by getting all of the documentation together and settling without filing a legal action. In others a legal action has to be filed. If settlement attempts fail before trial, then the case has to be tried. Fortunately, trials are only necessary in a small percentage of the cases. I always hope to avoid a trial but if it comes to it, we are ready to put our decades of trial experience to work for our clients.

 

If you are not sure whether your business has a valid legal action you should pursue, give us a call. The initial consultation is free.

 

Lloyd Gathings

A Better Economy Means More Dangerous Roads

There are plenty of things that you might think will cause the number of fatal traffic accidents: bad weather, unsafe cars, kids (and adults) texting while driving. But did you know that there is a sad link between how well the nation’s economy is doing and the number of people who die on our nation’s roads?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration analyzed the data and found that when the economy is doing better, more people die in traffic accidents. That’s right, when things are going well for the country’s finances, things get worse on the roads.

Why? Because the unemployment rate is lower, more people are working, which means people have more money and spend more time outside of the house. That may mean that people go on more trips. Or that instead of cooking dinner at home, they drive to a restaurant and eat a family dinner. Or their job may mean that they are having to travel for work. All of those reasons mean that the “Vehicle Miles Travelled” goes up and when the VMT is up, so are the number of fatalities on the roads.

There is also a link between lower gas prices and increased fatal crashes.

There is also a link between lower gas prices and increased fatal crashes.

A similar link was found between lower gas prices and higher fatalities. Just like with the unemployment rate, when people have more money in their pocket, they will travel more. And unfortunately that means more chances for an accident.

Please stay safe on the roads and know that if there is a downturn in the economy, at least it may keep people safer on the roads.

If you or your loved ones have been the victims of a car accident, call us at (205) 322-1201. We would like to help.

Why are More People Dying in Traffic Accidents?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recently came out with an alarming report: More people are dying in traffic accidents. In 2015, traffic deaths were up 7.2% to 35,092, the largest jump in nearly 50 years. The NHTSA also found that more people were likewise being injured in accidents, up to 2.44 million injuries in 2015.

The uptick bucks a positive trend that we have been seeing in the United States, where despite drivers spending more time on the road, traffic deaths had been generally going down. The rise in fatalities isn’t limited to a few categories; more people are dying in all types of vehicles, and more people on bicycles and on foot are being hit by vehicles.

The chart produced by the NHTSA shows how 2015 bucked the recent trend of decreased deaths.

The chart produced by the NHTSA shows how 2015 bucked the recent trend of decreased deaths.

So what is causing the increase? Are cars becoming less safe? Are people driving more recklessly? Well the research shows that nearly half of the deaths came from accidents caused by impaired or distracted drivers. That's right, nearly 17,000 people died in 2015 because someone made a bad decision. They may have been drinking before they got behind the wheel, or they were texting while they were driving, or they were just driving recklessly.

Drivers certainly aren't responsible for all accidents. Poorly designed cars and trucks, bad designs of roads, roads that aren't maintained well, or even potholes can cause fatal accidents.

If you were injured or if you had a loved one killed because of someone's bad decision, let us know and let us help. Call us at (205) 322-1201 and speak to an attorney today.

Also, one final note about fatal crashes and more importantly, about the people who survived crashes that killed other passengers. Seat belts save lives. The numbers show that 85% of the people who survived fatal crashes were wearing their seat belts. You can’t prevent every accident but you can do things to give yourself the best odds of surviving a very serious crash.

Why Dates Matter for Your Lawsuit

When you sit down with one of the attorneys at Gathings Law, one of the first things we will try to determine is the timeline of whatever happened with you. In some situations, figuring out the date an accident happened is easy. It is pretty simple to determine when you were involved in a car accident or when a product broke and hurt you. But the question becomes more difficult for situations that involve more complex issues such as pollution, fraud, or even some cases of medical malpractice.

But no matter what the issue is, the timeline matters because that determines how long we have to take your claim to court. Each situation, a car accident, a dangerous product, toxic exposure, medical malpractice, fraud, or many others, has a different “statute of limitations.” Statutes of limitations are laws that spell out how long you have to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, you can lose all rights to be compensated for your claim and a judge will simply throw out your case.

Determining when the clock starts ticking on your case isn’t always easy. If a builder installed something incorrectly at your house but you didn’t realize the damage for a year, your clock may have started ticking the moment the builder did the work, not when you discovered it. If you realize that a company had dumped pollutants in your neighborhood years before, the statute of limitations may have started the day they stopped dumping or even the day they started dumping. Different defendants can also have different time limits. For example, if you are planning to file a lawsuit against a city government, you may only have six months to file your claim.

Typically in Alabama you have at least two years to file a lawsuit in civil court. But that varies with different issues so it is important to sit down with a lawyer quickly to get advice on how much time you have to act.

Don’t let your day in court slip away because you waited too long to talk with a lawyer. Contact Gathings Law and let us start working for you right away.

When Do You Need a Lawyer

If you are involved in a car accident or hurt in some other incident, preserving your legal rights might be the last thing on your mind. Your first priority is likely making sure that you or your loved ones are safe and being treated for any injury that occurred. It may not be until much later that you think, should I be talking to a lawyer?

Sometimes people try to simply take matters into their own hands and prefer to deal directly with the insurance companies. And in some simple cases, that may not be a problem. We understand the reluctance that people feel when they approach the legal system. But don’t let insurance companies or others use that reluctance to get you to settle for a lesser amount. The insurance companies have teams of lawyers working to protect their interests and often you should have one to fight for yours.

Lawyers are here to make sure that your rights are protected and if you are even starting to think about that question, it is probably best to reach out and start asking questions. We will be happy to sit down and talk with you and we never charge for initial consultations.

Even if you are trying to avoid going to court, there are some situations where you really need a lawyer on your side.

Stalling Insurance Companies

One of the most common reasons you may need the help of an attorney is if an insurance company is refusing to pay. It doesn’t matter if it is your insurance company stalling or someone else’s dragging its feet, you have a right to be compensated for any injuries or damage. Any reasonable settlement should include compensation for your medical bills, the value of any long-term damage, your lost wages, and certainly fixing any damage to your property or car. If the insurance company is refusing to pay, you need someone to back you up.

Severe Injuries

If you were injured in a car accident, at work, or even just while you were shopping and suffered a severe injury, especially one that left you permanently disabled, you need an attorney. Determining the full impact of a life-long disability isn’t easy. The experienced personal injury trial attorney like the ones at Gathings Law work with you to see how the injury is affecting your life, both now and in the future. We will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve, not just what the insurance company wants to pay.

Medical Malpractice Injuries

If your injury came during a medical procedure, you should talk to an attorney. Just like with severe injuries, injuries that could have come from a doctor, nurse, nursing home, or a hospital or clinic’s actions can take years to fully show up. In these cases we work to determine what a doctor or hospital should have done to make sure that their patients stayed safe and that the medical work was done correctly. Doctors and medical providers are also covered under legal protections so it takes an attorney with experience to make sure you are protected.

Chemicals and Pollution

Cases that involve chemicals, pollution, or other contamination get complicated in a hurry. It takes an immense amount of scientific work to prove these cases and to determine the damages. The companies producing the chemicals or pollution also have massive legal staffs aimed at protecting their clients. You need an experienced lawyer to help clean up the mess and get you back on your feet.

 

Too Many People Still Forced to Work in Dangerous Environments

People should not be in danger when they go to work. That’s a seemingly simple idea that I have tried hard to make a reality for workers across the state of Alabama and the country.

I have handled many workplace injury cases and sadly many workplace death cases that could have easily been prevented. I have worked to ensure that employers are required to install and maintain safety equipment, such as guards, around dangerous machines. I have taken cases where employers didn’t bother to train their workers about the dangers of the machines they use, and as a result those employers were injured.

The work we have done has led to increased awareness of the potential dangers that come with heavy equipment and have led to new regulations aimed at keeping workers safe.

Don’t get me wrong, most employers put employee safety at the top of their priority lists. But as a recent al.com article showcased, there are still employers that aren’t putting safety first.

Pyongsan America, an auto supplier in Auburn, was recently cited by the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for having conditions that could have led to workers being injured.

The problems OSHA found included:

  • Failing to implement procedures to prevent machinery from starting while employees are servicing it
  • Failing to periodically inspect energy control procedures for machines with multiple energy sources
  • Failing to train employees to work with hazardous energy sources
  • Improper machine guarding

Not only does Pyongsan face tens of thousands of dollars in fines, but it could end up in OSHA’s Severe Violators Enforcement Program which focuses on “repeat or willful violations.”

You can read more about the company and what OSHA had to say about the dangerous conditions at the plant on al.com.

http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2016/07/post_392.html?ath=e23e4215d739de446606373bf2d09982#cmpid=nsltr_herostryheadline_single

Act Quickly If You Suspect Business Fraud

We want to believe that when promises or representations are made to us and to our businesses, those representations are going to be upheld. We constantly depend on what others have told us and make decisions based off of those statements. Businesses depend on someone’s words to determine what projects they will take on, what products they will manufacture, or what areas they will avoid.

But when another business doesn’t hold up its end of the deal, the results can be devastating for small businesses. It can mean lost profits, lost businesses, and in some cases even bankruptcy. 

In this week’s video, Gathings Law attorney Will Lattimore talks about some instances of fraud that businesses often find themselves victims of, including some areas that you may not have known was fraud in the first place. He also explains why you need to act quickly if you even think you or your business are victims of fraud. Call us as soon as you suspect your business may be the victim of fraud at (205) 322-1201.

A Patent Isn't the Only Way to Protect Your Idea

My small business clients often ask me about patenting various things.  However, the patent process is a long and expensive process for which many small businesses just do not have the funding.  But don't give up on protecting your ideas. This article from Entrepreneur Magazine explains how there are other things that can be done to protect the business' idea or invention.
 

How to Protect Your Business Idea Without a Patent

It's natural to fear that your idea might be stolen. But you can't turn your vision into reality without the help of others. Sooner or later, you're going to want to ask an industry expert to evaluate your product or service. You're going to need to collaborate with a manufacturer or distributor. But patents cost thousands of dollars and take years to be issued. You can't afford to wait that long to start bringing your product to market.

Thankfully, there are creative ways to actively protect your idea without applying for a patent. Here are four affordable strategies that will protect your business idea from being stolen:

Do your research. Before you begin working with anyone new, be it an individual or organization, do some research online. Do they have a good track record? Can you find any complaints about their business practices? Try to get a sense of what they're all about. If you find cause for concern, consider asking about it. As we all know, not everything you find online is true. But if their business practices seem sketchy before you've even begun to work with them, that's not a good sign.

Use these three legal tools -- with the help and oversight of an attorney:

  • Non-disclosure agreement (NDA): Have anyone you work with sign a non-disclosure agreement that commits them to confidentiality. An NDA can be a mutual agreement between two parties not to share information with third parties, or it can go one-way (since you're sharing information about your idea with them). If the agreement doesn't have an expiration date, that's powerful.

  • Non-compete agreement: If you hire someone to help you, have him or her sign a non-compete agreement. A non-compete agreement prevents an individual or entity from starting a business that would compete or threaten yours within an established radius.

  • Work-for-hire agreement: If you hire someone to help fine-tune your product, make sure to establish that you own any and all improvements made to the idea. Anything they come up with, you own. You will still need to list the person who came up with improvements as a co-inventor in your patent, but they will have no rights to your invention.

Read the rest of the article on Entrepreneur.com

Millennials, Technology, and Data, Oh My!

To say that there are disruptive forces at work in the business community is an understatement. We see it in the legal field just as our business clients see it in their day-to-day operations. New technologies, new generations of employees, new risks and new opportunities are changing entire industries. Data provides new ways of monitoring our businesses but those technologies come with new vulnerabilities that businesses need to be aware of.

Entrepreneur magazine recently published a list of The Top 6 Small-Business Trends on the Rise. The items certainly won’t apply to all industries but there is likely some information that could be applied to your business. I know some of these topics are very relevant to how we recruit staff and try to find potential clients.

There are new ways of reaching out to and learning about your potential customers, and vice versa, more ways for your potential customers to learn about you and your products and services. Gone are the days when you could set the tone for how your brand is portrayed, rather the author believes that customers now expect a “multifaceted, 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week dialogue.” You have the opportunity to reach people more directly, but beware because customers will reach back.

A lot of these topics are probably common sense to many entrepreneurs and business owners but they are good reminders of the changing world in which our businesses now operate.

I posted the first couple of trends below, head over Entrepreneur.com to get the full list.

1. Millennials

With its oldest members now entering their early 30s, the millennial generation is reinventing the way businesses manage the workplace and its employees. A report published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation describes the social and economic impact posed by the people born between 1982 and 1999.

Millennials demand comprehensive leadership and opportunities for growth within every position they fulfill. Transparency, collaboration and a seamless work-life balance are vital not only to their comfort, but also to their success within the workplace. Millennials also effortlessly adopt new technologies as they’re announced, therefore erasing the awkward adjustment phase every previous generation of offices has endured after a computer and equipment update.

....

2. Web presence

The availability of Internet-based technology gives small businesses more control over brand development, marketing and customer engagement. While tech start-ups traditionally benefit most from these services, Internet tools provide affordable and attainable solutions for small businesses in every industry.

The Independent We Stand (IWS) campaign reports that 97 percent of Internet users conduct online research on local products and services before committing to a purchase. Reviews and testimonials, a business’s website and other public information play important roles not only in a customer’s decision to buy a product but also in whether they share that product with others online.

Follow the Business Trends in Your Industry

Few businesses do well without acknowledging business trends and using them to their advantage. We see this on a regular basis with our business clients -- both with those who do follow business trends and those who do not. Of course, not making changes is the easier path, but rarely is it the smarter path, whether your business is a law firm, an import/export company, a marina, etc.

Forbes recently published an article discussing the current 10 top business trends. Several trends reflect the growing shift toward smaller, decentralized companies, at least in terms of their overhead. Those trends are highlighted by tech companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and Facebook. Obviously the trends change from industry to industry but the list has some good ideas for business owners to think about. Take a look at the full list on Forbes.com.

North Alabama residents still don't have answers about their water

Last month, residents in North Alabama were stunned to hear the news that they should not drink the water coming out of their taps. That was the message that came from the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority to the tens of thousands of people who drink that water everyday.

The chemicals came from operations of 3M and other industrial facilities.  

The chemicals came from operations of 3M and other industrial facilities.  

Since then, many water systems that bought water from the authority have switched to other sources but for the 10,000 people who drink water directly from the West Morgan-East Lawrence system, the message is still the same. The water authority is still working to construct filters that would block perfluorooctanoic acid (PFO) and perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS) from getting into the water system.

An overflow crowd of concerned citizens showed up at a recent water authority meeting trying to get more information about the chemicals but as WHNT reported, they were left with as many questions as answers. 

Gathings Law is working with hundreds residents around Decatur to get those answers and to hold 3M and other companies responsible for cleaning up the chemicals they let get into the water. Contact us if we can help you by calling (205) 322-1201 or by sending us an email at info@gathingslaw.com.