Earlier this year, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Georgia premises liability case discussing the duties a condominium complex owes its residents. Ultimately, the court concluded that the condo complex was not liable for injuries inflicted upon the plaintiff by a third party while the plaintiff was waiting outside the complex’s gates because his key fob had not yet been activated.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff moved into the defendant condo complex in February 2014. The complex had several controlled-access pedestrian and vehicle gates, which required residents to hold a key fob up to a panel to gain access. When the plaintiff purchased his unit, he initially was not provided a key fob. A few weeks after he moved in he was given a fob, but it did not work. The plaintiff contacted management several times without resolution.
During this period, the plaintiff would typically wait at the gate for another resident to enter, at which point he would follow behind them. On one night, about a month after the plaintiff moved in, he was returning home late one night and waited at the gate for 15 to 20 minutes without another resident entering the complex. The plaintiff, who was with his girlfriend, eventually parked on the street. As the plaintiff was walking toward the complex, a man robbed him at knifepoint. A struggle ensued, and the plaintiff was seriously injured as a result.
The plaintiff filed a premises liability lawsuit against the condo complex, arguing that the complex failed to provide the necessary security measures that were outlined in the declaration’s disclaimer.
The Court’s Opinion
The court first considered whether the complex could be held liable for the criminal acts of a third party that occurred on a public sidewalk outside the complex. The court assumed without deciding that such a claim was possible; however, the court held that any such claim would require the plaintiff to establish that the complex owed him a duty to provide security.
The court held that the plaintiff failed to show that the complex owed him a duty to provide security. The court looked to the declaration’s disclaimer that was provided to the plaintiff upon his purchase of the unit, which noted that the complex did not provide security to its residents, although it may provide certain security measures. The disclaimer explicitly stated that “all responsibility to provide such security lay solely with each unit owner.”
Without establishing that a duty existed to provide security, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s claim was insufficient as a matter of law and that summary judgment in favor of the complex was proper.
Have You Been Injured on Another’s Property?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured while on the property of another, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Georgia premises liability lawsuit. At McAleer Law, we pride ourselves in the dedicated service we provide to Georgia accident victims. We have decades of combined experience handling all kinds of Georgia personal injury cases, and know what it takes to succeed on our clients’ behalves. To learn more, call 404-622-5337 to schedule a free consultation today.
See More Posts:
Georgia Court Parses Language in Insurance Contract, Offsetting Plaintiff’s Recovery by Amount Already Paid by Insurer, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, March 15, 2019.
Georgia Car Accidents Involving Inexperienced Drivers, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, January 14, 2019.