Recent Tort Cases

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Explosion of video evidence in injury and death cases

When I started practicing law in 1977, hardly anyone but TV stations had video cameras, which at the time were heavy, tripod-mounted and extremely expensive. The idea of being able to play a video recording of an event in court would have seemed like science fiction if anyone had been so fanciful as to suggest  … Continue Reading

GPS Fatal Distraction

GPS technology is one of the great conveniences of life in the 21st century. When it works right it enables us to find our way through unfamiliar areas with ease.
Other times it can lead us terribly astray.
But at all times we should follow the device directions by entering destination information while safely parked and use … Continue Reading

Touch at trial – jurors lay hands on injured plaintiff

The “laying on of hands” can resonate powerfully. In my background, it has spiritual and theological implications as a ritual of blessing or of healing. Can this and other senses beyond sight and hearing also be part of legitimate trial advocacy in conveying truth to jurors?
The Georgia Court of Appeals recently said yes in the context … Continue Reading

NJ suit by spectator against Little League baseball player would be tossed out by Georgia courts

Baseball has been called the great American pastime. We all love an occasional trip to Turner Field to watch the Braves, and nothing can compare with family outings to minor league baseball games in smaller cities. I have nothing but pleasant memories of the spring and summer afternoons and evenings rooting for my son in … Continue Reading

Incompetent plaintiff can be in courtroom through all of trial, but is it a good idea?

Often in trials involving catastrophic brain injury that renders the plaintiff so incompetent as to be unable to assist her lawyers at trial, the defense moves first to bifurcate the trial between liability and damages phases, and then to exclude the plaintiff from the courtroom during the liability phase.
The idea is to prevent the jury … Continue Reading

8 year time limit applies to road design claims in Georgia

Occasionally we see claims that an accident and injury was caused, in whole or in part, by negligence in the design of a road, intersection or signage. In Georgia, there can be a claim against Georgia DOT if the road design did not conform to design standards when it was built. There may also be … Continue Reading

In negligent security cases plaintiff must prove that security was actually negligent

When a patron of a business is assaulted and injured by a criminal on the premises, there is sometimes a possibility of suing the business or property owner for negligent security.
When I have handled such cases, the usual drill has been to gather evidence of prior criminal assaults on the premises to prove that the … Continue Reading

A trap door in Georgia renewal actions for uninsured motorist insurance coverage

Georgia law allows a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit one chance to dismiss without prejudice and refile. The renewal statute, OCGA § 9–2–61, allows a plaintiff who voluntarily dismisses a timely filed suit to file suit within six months, regardless of whether the statute of limitations has run.
However, a case decided by the Georgia Court … Continue Reading

The learning curve of a bar president

In the past 10 days this plaintiffs’ trial lawyer, in the capacity of State Bar of Georgia president, has co-presided over a joint meeting of the State Bar Executive Committee and the Georgia Supreme Court, had a joint press conference with the Attorney General of Georgia and spoke at a lunch meeting that included general … Continue Reading

Innkeeper in Georgia has no legal duty to check on health of guest

Today the Supreme Court of Georgia held, in a 4-3 decision, that notwithstanding a moral obligation to do so, a motel manager has no legal duty to investigate the health of a guest on the request of a family member.
In the case of RASNICK v. KRISHNA HOSPITALITY, INC., a 77 year old man from Texas … Continue Reading