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Georgia Appellate Court Finds Slip-and-Fall Accident at Car Dealership Caused by “Open and Obvious” Hazard

Earlier this month, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a slip-and-fall case that occurred when a customer at a car dealership tripped on a wooden game board that dealership staff had placed there as a promotion. Ultimately, the court determined that because the hazard was open and obvious, and because the plaintiff had already successfully negotiated her way around it several times earlier that day, the case should be dismissed.

Watch Out!Case Facts

The plaintiff decided she was in the market for a new truck, and went to the defendant’s dealership to check out their stock. When she got to the showroom she noticed a sales associate was sitting in an office across the room, and she approached. In so doing, the plaintiff had to make her way around the four-foot-long wooden board that was placed there as part of a promotional game.

Once in the associate’s office, she had a brief conversation and then left to go see the inventory, again passing the wooden board. A few moments later the plaintiff returned to the showroom, passing the wooden board, and initiated another conversation with the associate. Once finished, she started to leave, but was stopped when the associate asked her a final question. After she answered, she turned around and left his office, tripping on the wooden board.

The plaintiff brought a premises liability lawsuit against the car dealership alleging that the placement of the wooden board created an unnecessary hazard and violated the duty the dealership had to her, their customer. The dealership argued that the wooden board remained in the same location throughout the plaintiff’s trip to the dealership, and that she knew it was there. The defendant asked the court to dismiss the case based on those reasons.

The plaintiff countered that the wooden board, although it had not moved, was moveable. She also claimed that the sales associate asking her a question as she was leaving distracted her, causing her to momentarily forget about the wooden board. However, ultimately, the court agreed with the defendant, finding that the wooden board causing the plaintiff’s fall was “open and obvious.” The court also found it persuasive that the plaintiff did make her way around the board three times moments earlier without any problems.

Injured in a Georgia Slip-and-Fall Accident?

If you or your loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Georgia slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The dedicated personal injury attorneys at Miller Legal Services have considerable experience representing clients in a broad range of personal injury cases, including slip-and-fall accidents. Through our holistic approach to representation, we will treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve, while fighting hard to enforce  your legal rights. Call 707-284-3727 to schedule your free consultation today. Calling is free, and you will not be billed for our services unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

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.

Georgia Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Premises Liability Case, Based on Plaintiff’s Inability to Prove Causation, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 6, 2017.