In a recent case in front of the Georgia Court of Appeals, a woman sued a Georgia grocery store after she slipped and fell on a puddle of water in the store. The woman claimed that the store negligently maintained the premises.
It was unclear how the water got on the floor. Around the time the woman slipped and fell, another customer told an employee about the water on the floor. The employee told another employee, who then went to get a bucket and a mop and a wet floor sign. The employee then went to clean up the spill. Around this time, the woman slipped on the water, although it was unclear whether she fell before or after the other customer notified the employee about the spill.
The court found there was insufficient evidence the grocery store was at fault. There was evidence that the store regularly inspected for spills and that the area where the spill occurred had been inspected about 20 minutes before the woman fell. In addition, there was no evidence the employees delayed going to clean up the spill. The court explained that since there was no evidence that the store should have known about the spill before the woman fell, and there was no evidence that the store failed to exercise reasonable care in cleaning up the spill when employees were notified, she could not show the store was at fault.
Georgia Premises Liability Law
Under Georgia law, if a landowner allows a person on his or her land for a lawful purpose, the owner is liable for any injuries caused by the owner’s failure to exercise ordinary care in maintaining the premises. In order for someone to recover compensation for injuries, the person has to show that the owner should have removed a hazard to protect the safety of the public. The purpose behind the law is to protect the public from hazards of which they did not know and the owner did know.
Generally, a plaintiff must show 1) the owner knew about the hazard or should have known about the hazard, and 2) the plaintiff did not know about the hazard, even though he or she was being reasonably careful.
In cases in which owners “should have known” about the hazard, a plaintiff may be able to show the owner was negligent by showing that an employee was in the same area as the hazard and could have removed it, or that the hazard was there for a sufficient amount of time that the owner should have discovered it. However, courts have held that an owner is not required to constantly walk around the premises to look for and remove hazards. In the case above, the woman was unable to present evidence that the store acted unreasonably under the state’s standards.
Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney
If you have suffered serious injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, you need an Atlanta personal injury lawyer who understands how to help you seek full and fair compensation for your injuries. At the McAleer Law Firm, you will always work with a lawyer who will give your case the time, diligence, and personal attention it deserves. We are willing to take all of our clients’ cases to trial so that our clients may be able to recover more money for their injuries. To learn more, call the McAleer Law Firm for a free consultation at 404-622-5337.
See More Posts:
Wrongful Death Cases Against Negligent or Abusive Georgia Nursing Homes, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, October 27, 2016.
Georgia Court of Appeals Discusses the Evidentiary Authentication Requirement in Recent Personal Injury Case, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, October 31, 2016.