Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Georgia premises liability lawsuit discussing a legal doctrine that can be used by some plaintiffs to excuse their failure to notice a hazard on the defendant’s property.
Georgia Premises Liability Law
While landowners owe visitors a duty to maintain a safe location, courts will only impose liability on a landowner when the plaintiff can show that the landowner had superior knowledge of the hazard that caused the plaintiff’s fall. The idea is that a landowner cannot be negligent for failing to warn someone of a danger that they did not know existed.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was a frequent customer at the defendant hardware store. One day, the plaintiff was shopping for a specific item, and approached a sales associate in the garden section for assistance. The floor in the garden area was wet, and there were several “wet floor” signs placed around the area. The sale associate told the plaintiff to follow him, which the plaintiff did. As the plaintiff was following the sales associate, he slipped in a small puddle of water, and was seriously injured as a result.