Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Stewart v. Brown, A17A1142
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/17/2017, 11/6/2017)
CIVIL PRACTICE:
The trial court erred in granting summary judgment to defendant in plaintiff's slip and fall suit because genuine issues of material fact remained regarding defendant's knowledge of the hazard and plaintiff's lack of such knowledge. 
St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta, Inc. v. Gardner Sewell Hall et al., A17A0824
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/17/2017, 11/3/2017)
TORTS:
The trial court erred in denying hospital's motion to dismiss plaintiff's slip and fall suit arising after he fell on black ice in the parking lot, because there were no questions of fact remaining as to whether the hospital had superior knowledge of the patch of black ice on which plaintiff fell or whether its remedial efforts to clear the parking deck of snow and ice contributed to the icy conditions.
Simmons v. Prince et al., A17A0899
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/17/2017, 11/3/2017)
TORTS:
The trial court erred in denying defendant's motion for summary judgment in plaintiff's suit to recover damages for injuries he suffered when he fell through the balusters of a railing that surrounded the front landing of a second-floor apartment because the large gaps between the railing balusters was a static defect of which the plaintiff had equal knowledge.
Jones v. The State, A17A1053
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (10/17/2017, 11/3/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for rape, aggravated child molestation, and incest for acts he committed against his niece, and the trial court was not required to conduct a competency hearing because defendant did not engage in any irrational behavior prior to the start of the trial, his demeanor did not exhibit incompetence, his attorney stated he was competent and there was no evidence of a prior medical opinion that his previous mental health diagnoses rendered him incompetent to stand trial. 
Sanchez v. Carter et al., A17A1135
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (10/17/2017, 11/3/2017)
WORKERS COMPENSATION:
Claimant was not entitled to workers' compensation dependency benefits after her live-in boyfriend, whom she was dependent on due to her own inability to work, was fatally injured at work because the two were not married, either ceremonially or by common law.
Women's Surgical Center, LLC et al. v. Berry et al., S17A1317
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (10/16/2017, 11/3/2017)
HEALTH LAW:
The trial court properly denied Department of Community Health's motion to dismiss hospital's action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief in an effort to have Georgia's applicable certificate of need law and the regulations authorizing it declared unconstitutional because hospital was not required to exhaust its administrative remedies before filing the action and the trial court also properly granted summary judgment to the Department on hospital's constitutional challenges to O.C.G.A. § 31-6-40 subsection (a) (7) (C).
Parks v. The State, S17A1164
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/16/2017, 11/2/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for murder and other crimes related to the retaliatory shooting death of the victim. 
Walker v. The State, S17A1406
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (10/16/2017, 11/2/2017)
APPEALS:
The trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion for an out-of-time appeal because it was clear from the face of the record that his convictions and sentences were proper and because he had no constitutional right to the assistance of counsel in pursuing his motion for out-of-time appeal, there was no error in the trial court's denial of his motion seeking appointment of counsel. 
Ocmulgee EMC et al. v. McDuffie, S17G0038
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (10/16/2017, 11/2/2017)
WORKERS COMPENSATION:
An employer need not show the availability of suitable employment to justify suspension of workers' compensation benefits after already establishing that an employee's work-related aggravation to a preexisting condition ceased to be the cause of the employee's disability.
Columbus Board of Tax Assessors et al v. The Medical Center Hospital Authority, S17G0091
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (10/16/2017, 11/2/2017)
REAL PROPERTY:
A bond validation order did not conclusively establish whether hospital's leasehold interest in a continuing care retirement facility was "public property" for tax purposes, and to the extent that the Court of Appeals and superior court considered the bond validation judgments conclusive on the question of taxability, the Court reversed and remanded.
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