Georgia Court of Appeals Finds in Plaintiff’s Favor in Nursing Home Slip-and-Fall Case

Earlier this month, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a slip-and-fall case requiring the court to determine if the plaintiff’s evidence was sufficient to survive a summary judgment challenge filed by the defendant. In the case, Pipkin v. Azalealand Nursing Home, the court determined that the plaintiff established a genuine issue of fact regarding the condition of the floor where she fell, and it was not proper for the trial judge to resolve the issue through summary judgment.

The Facts of the Case

Mr. Pipkin was taken by ambulance to the defendant nursing home. His wife, the plaintiff, was following the emergency medical technicians as they took her husband into the facility. As Mrs. Pipkin rushed down the hallway after her husband, she slipped and fell outside the nursing home’s shower room.

Mrs. Pipkin recalled that she had stepped on something “slick” that made her fall. Her son also testified, and he explained that when he came to his mother’s aid, he noticed that the floor underneath her was wet and that she was lying in a puddle of clear liquid.

The nursing home employees testified to a different version of the facts. They explained that it was not uncommon for the floor outside the shower room to be wet, but it was not wet when Mrs. Pipkin slipped and fell. They also explained that when the floor was wet, the nursing home staff would place four orange cones to warn residents of the potential danger. However, at the time of Mrs. Pipkin’s fall, the cones were not placed because they were not needed.

In its motion for summary judgment, the defendant argued that the plaintiff failed to establish that a dangerous condition actually existed. The trial court agreed and granted the defendant’s motion, dismissing the case. The plaintiff then appealed to a higher court.

On appeal, the court disagreed with the defendant that the plaintiff failed to raise a material issue regarding the condition of the floor. The court pointed to the testimony of both Mrs. Pipkin and her son, explaining that if that testimony was taken as true, the floor was wet at the time of Mrs. Pipkin’s fall. However, the nursing home employees offered a different version of the events. Since there were two competing versions of what happened that day, it was improper for the trial court to resolve the issue through summary judgment, and the case should have been submitted to the jury.

Have You Been Injured in a Georgia 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 injury attorneys at McAleer Law have decades of experience handling complex legal issues, such as those that arise in premises liability and wrongful death lawsuits. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney from McAleer Law, call 404-662-5337. Calling is free, and you will not be billed for our time or services unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

See More Posts:

Family Injured in Car Accident Barred from Challenging Inconsistent Damages Awards, Due to Failure to Object to Alleged Error at Trial, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, December 29, 2016.

Woman Fails to File Expert Affidavit in Medical Malpractice Claim but Able To Proceed Regardless, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, November 17, 2016.

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