• $10.8 Million resolution of a wrongful death professional negligence case.
  • $3,000,000 to the surviving spouse in a wrongful death / medical malpractice case
  • $1.75 Million for a 26 year old woman who was injured and the injury resulted in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) in her foot.
  • $1,900,000 to a man run over by a bus who sustained serious crush injuries to his legs
  • $1,120,000 for death of 48 year old man in a three vehicle collision
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When a property owner in Atlanta has reason to foresee there will be an injury-producing crime against certain visitors on his or her property, that property owner may be held accountable for the damages arising out of that crime in an Atlanta premises liability claim. In a recent Georgia appellate case, the court considered the sexual assault of a 12-year-old in an apartment building. Her conservator sued the apartment’s management company for its negligence, as well as negligent security. The court denied the company’s motion for summary judgment. The company appealed.

The case arose at a 9-story apartment building that provided Section 8 housing. The defendant company had taken some steps towards security. Visitors needed to sign in and there was a list of visitors banned from the building. The residents needed key fobs to come into the building, and there were security cameras as well as a security guard. The police were called, and the perpetrator pled guilty to child molestation and rape. Additionally, the plaintiff filed a premises liability action based on the theory that the defendants had negligently failed to keep the apartment safe and to adequately protect invitees, as well as negligent security under OCGA section 51-3-1.

The defendants asked for summary judgment on the grounds that the perpetrator’s intervening criminal act wasn’t foreseeable because there wasn’t proof of prior substantially similar criminal acts on or near the apartment complex. The lower court heard oral arguments on motions. It denied the motion for summary judgment on the premises liability claim. It found there was a jury question on whether the defendants should’ve foreseen the particular risk presented by the perpetrator.

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You can bring an Atlanta premises liability lawsuit against a homeowner or property owner or property manager that negligently fails to keep the property reasonably safe for a patron, customer, tenant or another invitee. In a recent slip and fall case, a defendant property management company appealed the denial of its summary judgment motion. The case arose when a woman and her daughter took a car to an area of their apartment complex. They were going to vacuum the car. The woman stepped out and went onto a landscaped area that had embedded rocks around the vacuum. When she tried to grab the vacuum, she fell and was hurt.

She sued the property management company on the grounds that she’d slipped on a foreign substance. The defense attorney asked her about what had caused her to fall and what caused her foot to slip. She testified she didn’t know. However, when her attorney asked her why she thought she fell, she answered that the rocks were very slippery. There wasn’t any water on the rocks, and she didn’t see any liquid on the ground.

The management company asked for summary judgment on the grounds that there wasn’t any evidence of a dangerous condition. The lower court denied the motion on the basis that there was proof from which the jury would be able to determine the rocks were slippery because of the water from car wash facility. The lower court asked for immediate review. The court granted interlocutory review.

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In a recent Georgia appellate decision, a woman was involved in a car accident with a couple, and the couple sued for medical expenses that arose from the accident. During the trial, the defendant admitted that she was liable for the collision, but she disagreed that she’d caused the plaintiffs’ injuries and disagreed with how much was awarded in damages. The husband was awarded $734,563.78.

The defendant appealed the denial of her motion for a new trial to argue that:  (1) the lower court made a mistake in applying the wrong legal standard by restricting her biomechanical expert’s testimony and stopping him from testifying that the force created in the collision was enough to cause the husband’s herniated discs and back, and (2) the lower court made a mistake in not granting her motion for a directed verdict on a claim for future medical expenses.

Before trial, one of the plaintiffs moved to stop the defendant’s biomechanical expert from testifying about his opinion that the force created by the collision couldn’t have caused the plaintiff’s spinal injuries. The defendant’s attorney said that at first he thought that the expert could testify about the forces particular to the accident and whether these forces were strong enough to cause the particular claimed injuries in the case.

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There are a number of affirmative defenses that may be raised by a Georgia defendant when faced with a lawsuit arising out of a car accident. One of these is the Act of God defense. In a recent Georgia appellate decision, the appeals court considered a lawsuit that involved a woman hitting a man and his dog while they crossed the entrance to a parking lot. The man sued the woman for negligence, requesting compensatory and punitive damages. The defendant argued an Act of God defense.

Discovery was conducted. The plaintiff brought a motion for summary judgment. The lower court denied the motion as to punitive damages, and also granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the act of God defense raised by the plaintiff.

The plaintiff appealed. The appellate court reversed on the denial of the plaintiff’s request for summary judgment as to punitive damages. However, the appellate court also affirmed the lower court’s granting of the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the Act of God defense.

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One type of Atlanta premises liability case is the negligent security lawsuit. This is a case in which you can hold a property owner responsible for a third party’s attack on you when you are an invitee, and the property owner knew about prior criminal attacks yet didn’t take safety measures to protect you from attack. In a recent Georgia case, the plaintiff sued a company after he was injured through a third-party attack on the premises of the company’s parking lot, which leased tractor trailer spaces to his employer.

The plaintiff was a truck driver who parked in one of the leased spaces after dropping off a trailer and in order to meet a different driver, a coworker, who was carrying another trailer for him to fault. The premises had a parts shop and a fenced lot with lighting, security cameras, and controlled gate access. He fell asleep in the cab of the truck but was startled to wake up to someone at the window with a tool. He mistakenly believed the person at the window was his coworker and exited the truck. Another cab was parked too close, and so when he got out of his truck, he had to step onto the step of the other cab.

The man drove away with the plaintiff hanging to the side mirror of the cab. He fell off and was run over by the cab several times, and he suffered many injuries as a result. He sued the company that owned the lot. He argued that the reason his employer used the log was that it had better security than the prior lot they used.

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If your car accident occurred while you were on the job, you may not be able to recover damages, because your exclusive remedy may be workers’ compensation benefits. In a recent Georgia car accident case, a plaintiff was injured and sued his employers and two individuals. He claimed the employers, for whom he worked as an airport shuttle driver and maintenance worker, were negligent in not letting him get medical care or insurance coverage. He argued that this delay exacerbated his injuries. The employer filed for a dismissal or, in the alternative, summary judgment. It argued that workers’ compensation was the plaintiff’s exclusive remedy. The lower court didn’t address the argument about exclusive remedy, but denied the motion to dismiss.

The case arose when the plaintiff’s car, owned by his employer, was reportedly struck by a car owned and driven by the individual defendants. The plaintiff was driving a car owned by his employer. When he sued, he claimed the employer was negligent in failing to give him access to medical insurance coverage, and this failure exacerbated his injuries and caused him to experience multiple strokes.

The employer answered and admitted the plaintiff was an employee, but then moved to dismiss the claims on the grounds that workers’ compensation was his exclusive remedy. The prior lawsuit he’d filed in 2015 against the employer had alleged an injury in the course of his employment. In interrogatories, he’d claimed he got into an accident when he was going back to work after picking up parts.

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There are different theories under which parents can be held vicariously (indirectly) liable for their child’s negligence while driving including the family purpose doctrine and respondeat superior. In a recent Georgia appellate decision, the court considered a Georgia car accident in which one driver sued a second driver for negligence and her parents for vicarious liability. The drivers crashed into each other when the defendant was 28 and living with her parents. The defendant co-owned the car she’d been operating with her mother. Her mother had co-signed for a loan so that the defendant could get the car.

The car insurance policy was in the names of the parents, but the defendant provided the father with the money for the loan payments and reimbursed her father for the insurance premiums. She paid for gas and maintenance and had sole possession of the vehicle’s keys. Her parents didn’t have any say in whether she operated the vehicle. She worked for her father’s company, but at the time of the accident she was driving to go volunteer and wasn’t acting as her father’s agent.

The mother and father filed a motion for summary judgment on the vicarious liability issue. The father argued he didn’t have any ownership of the car, and the mother argued she didn’t have authority or control. The plaintiff argued that there were issues of material fact on whether the parents could be held responsible under respondeat superior or the family purpose doctrine. The parents’ motions were denied.

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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.

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A plaintiff’s own knowledge of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property in Atlanta can affect the outcome of a premises liability case. In a recent Georgia appellate case, the plaintiff appealed from a lower court’s granting of summary judgment to a store and the store’s manager. She had sued the store and the manager after tripping and falling over a raised metal part of a cart corral in the parking lot.

The case arose when the plaintiff was leaving the store and putting her groceries in the car. She pushed her cart to the corral and, while leaving it, caught her foot in the crossbar of the corral, resulting in her falling and breaking her arm. The crossbar usually lies flat on the asphalt, but it was raised on one side at about 1 1/8 inches because a delivery truck had once hit the corral.

After the fall, she was certain she’d tripped on the raised portion of the crossbar because she felt her foot catch, and when she looked back, she saw the raised portion of the crossbar.  The plaintiff sued the store and the store manager, claiming they knew about the state of the corral and negligently failed to maintain it or warn her about the hazardous condition. The defendants moved for summary judgment, claiming that the state of the corral was an open and obvious condition. They also argued that she’d successfully gone through the air before she later tripped and that she hadn’t used reasonable care.

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Whether you can hold a property owner accountable for premises liability can depend partly on your reason for being on the property, whether you’re an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. In a recent Georgia premises liability lawsuit, a plaintiff was hurt when she tripped and fell down the stairs in a man’s backyard. The defendant had allowed his friend to have a birthday party at his house. The friend wanted to sit on the back porch by the pool to listen to music at the birthday party. There were brick stairs in the backyard, which had tiers. He’d purchased the property 20 years before, and the stairs had been there when he bought it.

The plaintiff was a friend of the woman having her birthday at the defendant’s house. When the plaintiff got to the house, she walked on a path to the back of the defendant’s house and arrived at some brick stairs leading to the area by the pool. She claimed that the lights were dim in that area.

As the plaintiff walked down the stairs, she looked forward, but not down. Her foot hit something and this caused her to trip. Later when she was being carried into the house after the fall, she noticed that there was an orange extension cord lying over three or four stairs where she’d tripped. However, she hadn’t seen the extension cord before falling and didn’t know who placed the cord there or how long it had been there.

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