Plaintiffs in personal injury cases, including premises liability cases, must present evidence proving each of the elements of the claim. In Georgia, for a premises liability case to be successful, there must normally be proof that the property owner knew or should have known there was a hazardous condition on their land, that the property owner failed to remedy the hazardous condition, and that the plaintiff was injured due to the presence of the hazardous condition.
If a plaintiff is unable to provide a court with proof of each of these elements, then the court will dismiss the plaintiff’s case upon motion from the defendant. A recent case highlights how the inability of a plaintiff to remember exactly how she fell prevented her from recovering for her injuries.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was visiting a fast-food restaurant on a rainy day. The entrance to the restaurant consisted of two different sets of glass double-doors. The plaintiff made it through the first set of double-doors without issue, but couldn’t open the second set of doors.
The plaintiff explained that she was “rattling” the door for some time and was unable to open the door. She subsequently started to push on the door harder. As she pushed the door, she fell to the ground. She was then taken to the hospital.
The plaintiff decided to file a premises liability lawsuit, claiming that her fall was caused by the restaurant manager’s negligence in failing to safely maintain the property. Prior to trial, the plaintiff was asked how she fell, and she explained, “I don’t know how to answer that. I just, it happened so fast. Just like, I just remember pushing on the door, and the next thing I remember is just sitting there.”
The restaurant manager moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to provide any evidence that her fall was caused by the manager’s negligence or by any dangerous condition on the property. The court agreed, explaining that in order to survive a summary judgment challenge, a plaintiff must present more than “mere speculation” as to what caused their injuries. Here, by the plaintiff’s own admission, she could not recall what caused her fall. The court held that this was “mere speculation” and affirmed the dismissal of her case.
Have You Suffered an Injury in a Georgia Slip-and-Fall Accident?
If you or your loved one has recently been injured in a Georgia slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, damages awards or settlements may include amounts for any past and future medical expenses, lost wages, as well as compensation for any pain and suffering you endured as a result of your fall. Call the skilled injury attorneys at McAleer Law at 404-622-5337 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case, free of charge. With decades of experience assisting slip-and-fall victims seek the compensation they deserve, the attorneys at McAleer Law know what it takes to be successful in Georgia courts and work tirelessly on behalf of their clients.
See More Posts:
Anyone Can be the Victim of Negligent Conduct — Jury Awards Doctor $7 Million after Slip-and-Fall Accident in Operating Room, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, March 2, 2017.
Plaintiff Receives $21 Million After Wife Suffers Catastrophic Brain Damage During Back Procedure, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, February 10, 2017.