Proportional Liability

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Apportionment of fault presents advocacy challenge to lawyers for innocent victims

In a case of negligent security against a commercial property owner, Couch v. Red Roof Inns Inc., S12Q0625, the Georgia Supreme Court last week upheld Georgia’s apportionment statute, O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33.
In a 5 -2 decision, with Justice Benham and Presiding Justice Hunstein dissenting, the Georgia Supreme Court found that (1) the jury is allowed to … Continue Reading

Sometimes a blog post really should be written like a legal brief

The blogging gurus have told me not to write blog posts like legal briefs.

Make posts short, with short sentences and bullet points, they say.
But tonight, leaving a bar association dinner, a judge’s law clerk read my name tag and had a flash of recognition.
In researching a question on which there was no case authority in … Continue Reading

Jury rejects defense try to shift blame, award $48 million for paraplegia injury

Representing individuals and families in cases of personal injury and wrongful death in Georgia, we deal with complex rules that the legislature tried to make more difficult in tort reform legislation in 2005.  However, in that hastily assembled legislation, the "law of unintended consequences" was at work.
When the Georgia legislature passed that omnibus tort reform bill … Continue Reading

Buyers’ regrets on Senate Bill 3

When the Georgia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 3 — the "tort reform" conglomeration — in February 2005, most of the legislators hadn’t even read the entire bill, most of its provisions were not discussed in any detail, and hardly anyone understood it. To say it had a lot of poor draftsmanship is an understatement.  … Continue Reading

Georgia tort reform — proportional liability replaces joint & several liability

In the spasm of tort reform (SB 3) that passed with scant discussion of details, Georgia has replaced the ancient rule of joint and several liability with a new rule of proportional liability. Applying to cases arising after Gov. Perdue signed it on 2/16/05, the new law (text below) provides that a jury is … Continue Reading