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Georgia man faces charges for creating hazard near highway

Laws in Georgia exist to protect people from dangerous property conditions and hopefully prevent an accident. If someone is hurt as a result of property owner negligence, the injured person has the right to seek compensation for his or her medical expenses. Local and state legal authorities would much rather keep a dangerous condition from happening instead, which is why property owners must adhere to a set of rules regarding their property and equipment.

A business owner is facing misdemeanor charges for creating a de facto landfill on his property. Authorities say he has violated Walker County ordinances, for piling broken wooden pallets along state Highway 341, and people have been complaining “nonstop” about the eyesore and safety hazard the pallets are causing.

The man says the county is harassing him and discriminating against his race. He claims two other property owners have been allowed to pile old tires and junk cars nearby. However, the County Coordinator states that many of the complaints have come from the man’s own relatives, and are therefore not racial complaints. Many people have been concerned for years about the piles of pallets at the side of the highway, and forklifts loading trucks in the middle of the road.

If anyone is injured on the highway or on the man’s property by falling or broken pallets, or equipment in the middle of the road, the property owner can be held liable for the injuries--so it’s better that the court takes care of the problem now, and not after someone is hurt.

Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press, “Man who piles pallets along Highway 341 in Walker County has court date,” Tim Omarzu, May 1, 2013

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