It can be difficult to trace and prove liability if you are injured while using someone else’s tools on another’s property in Atlanta. Sometimes a defendant brings a motion for summary judgment and it is crucial to retain an experienced attorney soon after being injured so that all appropriate evidence can be gathered to build your case. In a recent Georgia appellate case, a plaintiff sued a contractor after falling from a ladder that was allegedly defective. The lower court denied the contractor’s motion for summary judgment, in which it claimed the plaintiff hadn’t come forward with proof to generate a jury question about whether it had actual or constructive knowledge of the ladder’s supposedly defective condition or that it owed the contractor a duty to give a safe working environment. The contractor also argued that undisputed proof showed the plaintiff hadn’t used ordinary care for his own safety.
The contractor reportedly had a single owner and no other employees. The owner would subcontract most jobs his company had been hired to perform. The case arose when a company hired the contractor to repair a damaged wall at a cell phone store. This job was contracted to another, and that subcontractor hired the plaintiff and another man to help him. At their depositions, the plaintiff and other man testified that before they went to the job at the cell phone store, they stopped at the subcontractor’s workshop to pick up materials to do the job. The subcontractor put items into the trailer. These items included the ladder; there were no other ladders inside the trailer. They all drove with the trailer for 3 hours to get to the job site.
The men started work at the Verizon store at night once the store closed. The men took the ladder into the store from the trailer. Two of the men used the ladder without a problem, but neither went higher than the second run. One of the men checked to make sure the braces on the ladder were locked. He thought the ladder looked old but not dangerous.