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Georgia Appellate Court Finds Accumulated Rainwater on Train Platform Is Not a Dangerous Condition

Earlier this month, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a written opinion in a premises liability lawsuit that was brought against the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). The case, which was filed by a woman who had slipped and fallen on a train platform, was dismissed by the lower court. In the most recent appellate opinion, the court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s case, based on the finding that the accumulated rainwater should have been expected and that it did not constitute a dangerous condition.

Train StationThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was planning to take a train operated by MARTA. According to the court’s opinion, it had been raining for most of the day. As the plaintiff approached the station, she entered a covered platform area. A few feet from the door of the platform, there was a small puddle of rainwater that had accumulated. No one knew how long the puddle had been present, but the plaintiff claimed that the area where the puddle had formed was darker, and she argued that this suggested there had been an accumulation of water there on-and-off for a number of months or years.

As the plaintiff stepped into the puddle, she slipped and fell. She then filed a premises liability lawsuit against MARTA, claiming that MARTA was negligent in maintaining the train platform and that it should be held liable for her injuries.

MARTA argued that it should not be held responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries, since it did not violate any duty of care owed to the plaintiff. MARTA argued that a small puddle of rainwater on a rainy day does not constitute a dangerous condition, since such an occurrence should be expected by travelers.

The court agreed with MARTA and affirmed the granting of summary judgment in its favor. The court explained that the plaintiff’s suggestion that the area was subject to months or years of water accumulation was completely based on speculation. In other words, since no expert witness testified that the darkening of the concrete was likely due to the extended accumulation of water, there was no evidence in front of the court supporting the plaintiff’s argument, and the court was free to disregard it. The court was also swayed by the fact that there had not been any prior reported incidents of falls on the platform.

Have You Been Injured in a Slip-and-Fall Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Georgia slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at McAleer Law have extensive experience successfully bringing all types of personal injury cases on behalf of our clients. We understand that the recovery process is already a lengthy one, and we do everything we can to make sure it is as easy as possible for our clients. Call 404-622-5337 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury lawyer today.

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.

Georgia Appellate Court Puts Plaintiffs’ Case in Free Fall, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, April 24, 2017.