Articles Posted in Premises Liability

The holiday shopping season has arrived in full force. Many people will be out hitting the stores this season, and unfortunately some of those shoppers are at risk of injuries from crowds, violence, or poorly maintained stores. It is the obligation of malls and shopping centers to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others. If an injury happens and the property owner fell short in fulfilling his duty, victims could be entitled to compensation for damages. premises liability accidents holiday shopping

An Atlanta premises liability lawyer can provide assistance to victims injured while out doing their Christmas shopping. Our attorneys can help you to determine if you have a case for compensation due to your injuries and can assist you in pursuing your damage claim if someone was responsible for the harm that you endured.

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Slip and falls are one of the most common types of injuries which result in lawsuits against property owners. Falls are a leading cause of spinal cord damage and a leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) so fall injuries need to be taken very seriously.  Falls can happen for lots of different reasons, from debris in a walkway to poorly maintained flooring materials to slippery floors.  Whatever the cause of the fall, the property owner could be held accountable if it can be traced back to the owner’s negligence or failure to fulfill a safety duty. Atlanta slip and fall

It is up to the fall victim or family members of someone killed in a slip and fall to be able to put together evidence and prepare a case for compensation. An Atlanta slip and fall accident lawyer can provide invaluable assistance investigating the reasons why the fall happened and providing proof of liability which is necessary for a victim to recover compensation for damages.

How to Prove Your Right to Compensation in An Atlanta Slip and Fall Case

Many people visit Atlanta every year for work or for pleasure. Staying in hotels is common when visiting the area. Hotels, like other businesses, have a basic obligation to make sure their premise is safe for these visitors. Hotel guests are classified as invitees, so hotel operators have the highest duty under the law to these patrons who come to stay.  Unfortunately, accidents can happen at hotels because those who operate these hospitality businesses do not always maintain the safe environment that is expected of them. premises liability injuries

When an injury occurs in a hotel, contacting an Atlanta premises liability lawyer is important for victims. Visitors to the area who were hurt in a hotel may not live locally, so will need to make informed choices about where and how they can pursue a case for compensation for their damages.

Risks of Accidents and Injuries in Atlanta Hotels

Property owners and those who provide services to the public have a basic duty of care. They must provide a reasonably safe environment.  However, property owners and those offering services do not have the responsibility to guarantee the safety of visitors in all situations.  The question in determining liability is whether the property owner was reasonable in the protections taken to prevent injury. This question is answered by considering many factors. assumption of the risk

One issue that can complicate things significantly is when a victim is engaging in an activity with inherent dangers.  For example, if someone goes skiing, there are natural risks associated with skiing. The owners of ski resorts cannot be responsible every time someone gets hurt at the resort.

The same is true when someone does any other sort of dangerous activity, from boating and water skiing to sky diving or zip lining.  In situations where you engage in inherently risky activities, including when you sign a release of liability, it is important to understand your rights. An experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer can help you to determine if you can make a case for compensation after an injury in these complex situations.

Restaurants are supposed to be safe places for patrons to go. Sometimes, however, things go wrong and guests get hurt while they are dining out. Just recently, actress Tori Spelling sustained serious injuries at a restaurant. According to WTOP, Spelling has filed a lawsuit seeking in excess of $25,000 in damages. She claims she suffered a fall due to unsafe property conditions, which caused her to sustain serious burns when her arm hit a hot Hibachi grill.

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Incidents like this can happen to anyone, and many victims of slip and falls may wish to pursue claims against the restaurant as Spelling is doing. If you or someone you love got hurt while dining out, while shopping, or when visiting any public location or even private home, you need to understand your rights under Georgia’s premises liability law.

Slip and falls can happen anywhere. From a broken railing or damaged step at a friend’s house to a slippery floor in a public restroom or store, there are a great many conditions that can cause you to take a tumble. If you do fall down, you could sustain serious injuries including damage to the spine or traumatic brain injury. danger-slippery-surface-1499107

Property owners are responsible for making sure they do not create conditions that exacerbate the risk of a fall or that cause a fall to occur. If you are hurt on someone’s property (whether it is a friend’s home or a store or other public or private place), you need to know what your rights are. A personal injury lawyer in Atlanta can help you to understand how to pursue a case for compensation after a fall so you can recover monetary damages for your losses.

Is it Possible to Prevent Fall Injuries?

Most people make New Year’s resolutions around this time of year as they look forward to what they hope will be a great future. One of the most common resolutions that people make is to start exercising or to be better about their exercise routine. elliptical-trainers-489121-m

While working out should be good for you, sometimes it presents unexpected risks to your safety. This is true both if a gym fails to adequately maintain its premises and if gym equipment has design flaws. If you suffer an injury as a result of a failure of a gym or equipment manufacturer to live up to basic safety obligations, you should contact an Atlanta injury lawyer for help understanding your legal options. Continue Reading

Our Atlanta premises liability lawyers read about a truly tragic case of the kidnapping and murder of a seven year old girl in 2011. Her mother, Joselinne Rivera, filed a lawsuit in February 2012, which was dismissed by Judge John Mather in August 2013, but without prejudice, meaning Ms. Rivera could file again if she came up with new evidence.

Ms. Rivera has now re-filed the lawsuit in Fulton County State Court. Her daughter, Jorelys, was kidnapped and killed by a man employed by an apartment complex. His name was Ryan McCabe Brunn and he worked in maintenance at the River Ridge Apartments in Canton, Georgia. He abducted Jorelys and sexually assaulted her before killing her in a vacant apartment at the complex and throwing her body away in a dumpster. Brunn was arrested for the crime and confessed. He killed himself while in prison.

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Ms. Rivera claims that the apartment complex and McCormack Baron Ragan Management Inc. were partly responsible for Jorelys’s horrific death and that he showed warning signs that should have been addressed before the crime. The lawsuit claims that the apartment and managers gave Brunn master keys, which allowed him to use a vacant apartment during his brutal crimes against Jorelys. It claims that they failed to conduct a criminal background check, didn’t do a pre-employment drug screening, didn’t check references or arrest records, didn’t fire Brunn even after discovering he was using drugs, failed to respond to resident complaints about Brunn, and did not inform residents of a different sex offender living in the complex. On resident complaints, the lawsuit states, “Residents noticed Brunn hanging out at the two playgrounds inside the River Ridge apartment complex in Canton and staring at the young children playing.” One resident allegedly complained to the management, saying Brunn was bothering the children and was a danger to them. The initial lawsuit also claimed that Brunn confessed to two people that he molested his seven year old niece. Judge Mather found that Ms. Rivera presented no evidence that McCormack Baron Ragan could have known about this molestation.

In 2005, Georgia’s legislature passed a law getting rid of joint and several liability for tort cases. Joint and several liability means that in a tort claim, if there are multiple defendants from the same claim and a judgment is issued against them, they are all liable for the award. The plaintiff can get the award from any of the defendants, and if some defendants cannot pay, he or she can enforce the judgment against the defendants who can afford to pay. The 2005 law only applied to incidents from that point on, so it has taken a few years to be applied in the court system, and our Atlanta premises liability lawyers saw a recent Court of Appeals case showing how the this law works.

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The case is District Owners Assoc., Inc. v. AMEC Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc. and it was decided in early July. The original premises liability case involved Richard Corbett, who sued District Owners Association (DOA). Corbett was jogging along a sidewalk and there was a 37 inch high wall, and from his vantage point he thought he could jump over the wall and continuing running on a parking deck next to it. From where he was, the drop looked only about three feet, so he attempted it but it turned out to be a drop of 33 feet and he was seriously injured in the fall. In his lawsuit he claimed that a fence or barrier should have been erected to stop pedestrians like him from injury due to the unexpected drop. In that lawsuit, DOA owned the parking deck, but decided to file a third party complaint against the designers and contractors who built the parking deck in question. These included: AMEC Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc.; Carl Walker, Inc.; Vratsinas Construction Company; and C.W. Matthews Contracting Company, Inc. The third party complaint stated that if DOA was liable in the premises liability case, that these companies were also liable. DOA based their complaint on the common law right of contribution among tortfeasors.

The trial court dismissed DOA’s third party claims, and the Court of Appeals affirmed that decision. The Court stated that when the legislature did away with joint and several liability, the common law contribution among tortfeasors was also abolished in Georgia. Under current law, if a non- party, such as the builders and designers of the parking deck, is potentially liable, the defendant can file a notice identifying them before the start of the trial and the jury may take into account the percentage of fault of the non-parties in deciding an award against the defendant. But the non-parties cannot be added as defendants.

Our Atlanta negligent security lawyers noticed a recent story about the outcome of a murder trial related to a negligent security lawsuit.

A Georgia court found Nkosi Thandiwe guilty of shooting three women, killing one, sentencing him to life in prison without parole. The shooting occurred in Midtown in July 2011, taking the life of Brittney Watts, a Roswell resident. The two surviving victims were Lauren Garcia, who is paralyzed and will never walk again after the shooting, and Tiffany Ferenczy, who was shot in the leg. All three victims worked in the building attached to the parking garage at the Proscenium Building, where Thandiwe worked as a security guard – hired to protect the people he harmed and killed. The prosecutor in Thandiwe’s case, Linda Dunikoski, said, “He told you the reason he shot those people was because he adopted the racists’ attitudes and wanted to start a revolution through violence.” Thandiwe testified that he had gotten angry with his supervisor earlier in the day and almost pulled a gun on him, as well. At the trial, it came out that he had come to these beliefs about white people and how they treat blacks during his years in college at the University of West Georgia, where he studied anthropology. He testified that he felt Europeans were responsible for “a lot of evil”. His mother, Lynnae, also testified to her son’s mental breakdown in college. The prosecutor stated that Thandiwe grew up with two parents and a good home with the benefits of the “American dream.” The jury found him guilty and rejected Thandiwe’s insanity defense, after the defense provided insufficient proof or any medical history of insanity. 586px-Gun_outline.svg.png

The criminal trial is now over, but the survivors, Ms. Ferenczy and Ms. Garcia, as well as the widowed husband of Brittney Watts, all filed lawsuits last year against Allied Barton Security Services and the owner of the Proscenium Building due to negligence in employing Thandiwe. The cases were filed in Fulton County Superior Court. The lawsuits include accusations of racial motivation, which is borne out by the testimony at Thandiwe’s criminal trial. Allegedly, an incident occurred weeks before the fatal shooting in which Thandiwe was involved in a fight with a visitor to the building, and he assaulted this courier using racial slurs. News sources claim he had to be physically restrained by Allied Barton personnel from hitting and hurting visitor. He bought the gun, a Glock semi-automatic, two weeks before the July 2011 shooting.