Man allegedly beaten by police files lawsuit; Homewood Police Dept. included in investigation

Man allegedly beaten by police files lawsuit; Homewood Police Dept. included in investigation

Original Article By Erica Pettway

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – A Northport man announces that he has filed a lawsuit against the Homewood Police Department, Homewood Police Chief Tim Ross and the officers involved in the incident citing excessive force after an interaction he had with officers from the department.

According to the complaint, back on February 24, 2019, 27-year-old, Timothy Stewart, an Ironworker from Northport, was the victim of excessive force at the hands of the officers, who were identified in the complaint as Rodney Adams and Nicholas Altobella.        

Stewart is seeking $1 million from the Homewood Police Dept., Homewood Police Chief Tim Ross and the officers involved in the incident.  

Stewart and his Attorneys are also asking for the Homewood Police Department to release video of the incident.

Stewart is represented by Carlos Moore of The Cochran Firm – Mississippi Delta and Michael T. Bell of The Cochran Firm Birmingham.

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Man claims Homewood police beat him after traffic stop

Original Article By Ivana Hrynkiw | and Carol Robinson |

A Northport man claims he was beaten by Homewood police officers last month while he was detained after a traffic stop, but police say he’s a “multi-state offender” and suffered minor injuries after resisting arrest.

Attorneys for Timothy Stewart, 27, spoke at a press conference Thursday morning and announced Stewart will be filing a federal lawsuit if the city of Homewood does not settle his case within 60 days. They said the city has been served with a notice of intent to file suit.

Homewood police officials said they have not received any official complaint for Stewart nor a notice of claim from any representative of Stewart, or any notice of a filed lawsuit.

Carlos Moore, William Bell, and Jim Bushnell of the Cochran Firm are representing Stewart. They are seeking $1 million in damages and- if the case goes to trial- an injunction against Homewood police to prevent future incidents of abuse. They said they haven’t received an incident report.

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Cochran Legacy Continues in Birmingham

Original Article By Birmingham Times

Special to The Birmingham Times

Attorney Michael T. Bell has joined The Cochran Firm’s Birmingham regional office as managing partner of the firm’s consumer litigation practice group. Historically a plaintiff’s injury firm, the newly formed consumer litigation group will allow The Cochran Firm to represent clients in a wide array of legal matters including: bankruptcy, criminal defense, employment, family law, immigration, mediation, Social Security disability, and worker’s compensation.

Prior to joining The Cochran Firm, Bell served as a creditor-rights attorney with a Birmingham-based law firm. Bell, a first-generation attorney, is a Birmingham native and the son of longtime educator, Alfred J. Bell. Bell is a graduate of Birmingham School of Law and focuses his practice on consumer bankruptcy, immigration, and personal injury.

Bell, who was raised in North Birmingham, is an alumnus of G.W. Carver High School and Jacksonville State University. After completing his undergraduate studies, Bell went on to obtain the degrees of Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Education.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Bell served as a business and technology instructor at Brown Mackie College and Montgomery Public Schools.

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How Soon Should You See a Doctor After an Auto Accident?

How Soon Should You See a Doctor After an Auto Accident?

3 million people in the United States are injured every year in auto accidents. Around 2 million of the resulted injuries are permanent. If you are involved in an auto accident, no matter the severity of the accident, medical attention should be sought.

High Level Severity

Auto accidents, such as head-on collisions and intersection collisions, are often the most severe types of auto accidents. Especially when occurring at high speeds, medical attention will be needed immediately for all parties involved. It may be necessary for an on-looker to call 911 if none of the parties involved are in a condition to access and call the paramedics themselves.

Low Level Severity

In low level severity accidents, such as when one is rear-ended, a call to 911 may not be required. However, seeking medical attention is still recommended if there are any signs of a possible injury. Even if you think you’re fine, a check-up with your regular physician should be made to ensure no internal injuries are missed. Often, after an accident your body is filled with adrenaline, tricking your body into feeling no pain. Side effects and pain of the accident may not be truly felt until the next day.

Filing Your Claim

Not only is medical attention important to your health, but it is important to your claim. A medical evaluation is highly recommended when negotiating a settlement with the insurance company after an auto accident. A medical evaluation will help you get the amount you deserve in your settlement to cover the costs of both property damage and any medical tests or treatment needed. If you delay seeking medical attention, insurance companies will argue that your injuries are not severe and it could be used against you. Therefore, you should see a medical professional within three days of your accident, although sooner is always better.

Tips for Safe Driving in the Winter

Tips for Safe Driving in the Winter

The number of auto accidents significantly increase during the winter months due to the hazardous conditions brought by winter weather. It is important to take extra precautions during the winter months for the safety of both yourself and others on the road.

Tips for Safe Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving safely in the winter starts before you even get on the road. Regular maintenance and tune-ups important for year-round safe driving but are also important for when the temperature starts to drop. Winter weather can take a toll on car batteries, wipers, coolant, tires, and other systems.

Further precautions must be taken once you have left your driveway. Here are some tips for on the road:

  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up. Plus, you never know how long you may be stuck in additional traffic due to weather conditions.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface.
  • Increase your distance when driving behind another vehicle.
  • Decrease driving speed and avoid frequent stopping, especially when going up a hill.
  • Opt to stay home. If you have the option of going out or staying in, stay in or wait till the hazardous road conditions subside.

How Weather Impacts Liability

Drivers still have the duty to drive safely during road conditions that are affected by inclement weather. Although the risk increases when going out on the road during hazardous weather conditions, so does the duty of the driver to use due care. If you are involved in an accident due to snow, ice, or slippery roads, take the same measures following the accident that you would on a sunny day: exchange contact and insurance information, take photographs, call the police, and seek medical attention immediately depending on the severity of the accident.

Types of Cybercrimes

Types of Cybercrimes

Cyber crimes are a modern and quite popular form of crime. The low chance of getting caught and the possibility of a high reward make it very attractive to criminals. Here are some of the most common cyber crimes you need to know about so you can stay safe on the Internet.

Internet Piracy

Music, media, and software piracy is rampant on the Internet. Numerous laws have been passed to help prosecutors charge those who pirate copyrighted material online, though the big targets by prosecutors are the hubs where pirates gather. From an individual perspective, however, there is another great risk for pirating material: it exposes you to other kinds of cyber crime.


The classic computer virus isn’t as popular as it once was. It has been replaced by a class of software called malware, or malicious software. The purpose of malware is to allow a criminal to gain access to your computer. Sometimes it’s to push lots of ads at you, sometimes it’s gathering personal information, and sometimes it’s to use your computer’s processing power for things like cryptocurrency mining or as a base to perform cyber attacks. A common vector for malware is visiting piracy sites, but it’s not the only source.


Ransomware is a form of malware in a class all its own. This software hijacks your system and encrypts the data on the drive. The user receives a message that they need to send money, often a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, to a specific address to get their data back. If this software gets into a business, the business is faced with either paying up or shutting down. This is the most dangerous form of malware today.


“Phishing” (pronounced like fishing) is a form of cyber attack designed to steal information. A criminal will forge an email with a link that looks like something legitimate. It can range from faking another company or carefully targeting someone and sending something that looks like it came from a friend or coworker. The purpose of these emails is to steal information, either by installing some piece of malware or redirecting the victim to a website where they put in their information thinking it’s a legitimate site. When this happens, the information can be used for identity theft or to gain access to their account.

These types of crimes are common, but you can protect yourself by being a bit more cautious and wary on the net. You can discover the link to a site simply by hovering over it to see where it’s going. If it’s going to a place that doesn’t seem ‘right,’ then don’t click on it.

Can Any Relative Bring A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Can Any Relative Bring A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful death claims are brought on when someone is killed due to the negligence of another party or an intentional act. They allow for the estate of the deceased person to file a lawsuit against the party who is legally liable for the death. Wrongful death claims are often filed by a representative of the estate, on behalf of surviving family member and others affected parties. The victim’s family can seek monetary damages for funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of wages and future earning capacity.

What constitutes who exactly can file a wrongful death claim?

As with many cases, it is dependent on which state you are in. In all states, spouses may bring a wrongful death action on behalf of his or her deceased spouse. Parents of minors and minors of a deceased parent may also bring a wrongful death action.

What about parents of adult children or adult children of a deceased parent? What about extended relatives (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.)? Generally, the more distant the relationship, the harder it will be to collect damages for a deceased relative. However, often, anyone who can show financial dependence on the deceased will be entitled to a wrongful death claim.

What if the deceased has a will?

If the deceased dies with a will, a court will usually appoint an executor or personal representative to administer the estate. In most states, the executor or personal representative has the sole right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the descendent(s).

View laws regarding wrongful death settlement distribution by state here.

Contact us today

The laws involved in wrongful death lawsuits are complicated and vary in each state. During your grieving period, consideration of a wrongful death lawsuit may not seem urgent. However, wrongful death cases must be filed within a specific time period. If not,  you risk losing your right to financial compensation. Contact the experienced, wrongful death lawyers at the Cochran Firm today!