Georgia law on the trial of personal injury cases has for most of my career provided for exclusion of evidence of settlements of claims arising from prior injuries. Now the Court of Appeals has cracked open the door to evidence that in the past has been excluded.

In the case of Goforth v. Wigley, 178 Ga. App. 558, 560 (2), 343 SE2d 788 (1986), the court ruled that “evidence as to the amount of a settlement or compromise in [an] earlier case is generally irrelevant and prejudicial and therefore inadmissible.”  Thus, the court in Goforth held that the trial