In late November, we settled a slip and fall lawsuit where the fall occurred at the Atlanta Airport on very favorable terms for our client. This is a huge victory for our client and I think it would be instructive to tell the story of how the lawsuit went for those facing a future slip and fall case in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia.
In July 2008, our client was walking through Concourse E in the Atlanta Airport (client worked as a flight attendant). She was her way to make a connecting flight in another terminal. There was a gel-like food substance on the floor near the information booth and had not been cleaned up despite warnings of the existence of the hazard. There was another individual that had fallen in the substance and watched our client fall as well. In addition, there was another flight attendant that witnessed our client fall. Both witnesses played a tremendous role in helping get the case resolved on excellent terms for our client.
In Georgia, “premises liability” or “fall down” cases can sometimes be difficult cases to win. The Georgia code creates and imposes a non-delegable duty upon landowners toward “invitee,” which are also thought of as “business guests.” A person who is typically on the premises of a business or other commercial entity is considered an invitee. A landowner owes an invitee a duty to ensure that the invitee is entitled to reasonably safe conditions while on the property.
What are reasonably safe conditions? Georgia case law provides that a landowner must have actual or constructive knowledge of a hazard. Essentially this means that the landowner knew (actual) or should have known (constructive) of the danger but did not take reasonable steps to eliminate the hazard. This can be tough to prove and there are various ways to impute knowledge to a landowner. In our airport case, our theory was that the janitorial service and operating entity knew that the hazard existed because we had testimony that after our client fell, someone said they had already called the janitorial service to report the hazard but no one had come to the scene to remove the food. We bolstered this evidence from the two witnesses and believe that this hard work played a large role in settling the case for $107,500. The client had less than $15,000 in medical treatment. This was a great victory for the client and for justice. You can see more results on the website.