The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld a Jury verdict for a family for a total of $ 2,790,000 for a Slip and Fall at a Kroger Grocery Store in Georgia. The woman who fell recovered $ 2,640,000 for injuries she sustained when she fell at a Kroger Grocery Store while she was walking on her way to the check out isle and walking through the floral area, when she fell on a liquid substance on the floor.
The Husband was awarded a total of $ 150,000 for loss of consortium. The Georgia Supreme Court agreed with the finding that the liquid had been on the floor for a long time and, therefore, the store had constructive knowledge of the liquid prior to the slip and fall. This is similar to the case that I discussed in my last blog post about the woman who was injured in a condominium parking lot in DeKalb County and was a awarded $ 840 in damages.
As I have stated in my website, not all Premises Liability cases are slip and fall cases, but all slip and fall cases are Premises Liability Cases, and a majority of the Premises Liability cases are slip and fall cases according to the Georgia Supreme Court. The Georgia Supreme Court has clearly stated that in order for a Plaintiff to recover in a Premises Liability Case that the Plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the injury caused by a hazard on an owner or occupier of land’s premises or approaches that the owner or occupier should have removed in the exercise of ordinary care for the safety of the invited public.
The Georgia Supreme Court has further stated that when a premises liability cause of action is based on a trip and fall or slip and fall claim, that the general test comes down to two specific elements that the Plaintiff must show by a preponderance of the evidence: 1.) The Defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard; and (2) The Plaintiff, despite exercising ordinary care for his or her own personal safety, lacked knowledge of the hazard due to the defendant’s actions or to conditions under the defendant’s control.
These principles devolve from the Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 51-31, which provides in pertinent part that: When an owner or occupier of land, by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon his premises for any lawful purpose, he is liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe (emphasis mine).