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Georgia Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Premises Liability Case, Based on Plaintiff’s Inability to Prove Causation

In January of this year, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a premises liability case filed by a woman who was injured as she attempted to enter a fast-food restaurant. The court ultimately affirmed the dismissal of the woman’s case, based on the fact that her testimony failed to establish that her fall was caused by any action or omission of the defendant restaurant manager.

Fast FoodThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was entering a fast-food restaurant through a set of two double-doors. The plaintiff successfully made it through the first set of doors and into the foyer. However, she encountered a problem opening the second set of doors. According to the woman’s testimony, she was “rattling” the door handle, and it seemed jammed. She kept pushing the door and then fell to the ground, requiring that she be taken to the hospital.

The woman filed a premises liability lawsuit against the restaurant’s manager. Before trial, the woman was deposed by the defendant’s attorney. She was asked how she fell and responded “I just was pushing on the door, and the next thing I remember right now is just falling.” When pressed about the cause of her fall, she responded “it happened so fast. Just like, I just remember pushing on the door, and the next thing I remember is just sitting there.” The woman explained that after she fell, she noticed that the ground was damp because it had been raining outside. She recalled that there was a mat in the foyer, although she was unable to remember if the mat was wet.

The restaurant manager asked the court to dismiss the case, arguing that even under the plaintiff’s own version of the events, there was insufficient evidence establishing that her fall was caused by any action or omission of the manager. The court agreed.

The court explained that a premises liability plaintiff must be able prove what actually caused their injuries; “mere speculation” as to what could have caused the injuries will not be enough to establish the causation element of a premises liability claim. Here, the court noted that the plaintiff did not remember how she fell, such as whether it was due to a dangerous condition on the defendant’s property. That being the case, the court held that the plaintiff’s claim was based on mere speculation and was properly dismissed.

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

If you or a loved one has recently been injured on the property of another party, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Georgia premises liability lawsuit. The dedicated personal injury attorneys at Miller Legal Services have extensive experience handling all types of slip-and-fall and other premises liability cases. Call 770-284-3727 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated attorney to discuss your case today. Calling is free, and there is no obligation to continue forward with your case unless it is your desire to do so.

More Blog Posts:

Georgia Court of Appeals Holds Employer May Be Liable for Employee’s Drunk Driving Accident, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 22, 2017.

Delivery Driver Struck While Delivering Fuel to Gas Station Allowed to Proceed in Premises Liability Case, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 1, 2017.