Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
McDonald v. West Point Food Mart Inc., A15A0716
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/2/2015, 8/3/2015)
TORTS: Trip & Fall
The defendant convenience store's failure to protect the plaintiff from tripping over an item temporarily placed on the floor by a customer behind her in the checkout line was not a breach of its duty of ordinary care.
In re Estate of Thompson, A15A0558
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/6/2015, 8/3/2015)
FAMILY LAW: Guardianship
The trial court erred in refusing counsel's request to cross-examine the adult ward's guardian ad litem at a hearing on an appeal from the probate court's order granting guardianship of the ward to her father, rather than her grandmother, since the clear language of O.C.G.A. § 29-9-3 prohibits an attorney from acting as both an advocate and a guardian ad litem.
Morales v. State, A15A0488
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (7/7/2015, 8/3/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Methamphetamine Trafficking, Methamphetamine Possession with Intent to Distribute, Methamphetamine Possession, Marijuana Possession with Intent to Distribute, Marijuana Possession, Party to Crime, Flight
The evidence did not support the defendant's drug convictions, as the State failed to show that he possessed any of the contraband discovered at a residence he had been visiting.
Miller v. Lomax, A15A0447
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/6/2015, 8/3/2015)
CIVIL PRACTICE: Dismissal
The trial court did not err in dismissing the plaintiffs' action pursuant to Georgia's 5-year rule, as no written order had been taken in the case for a period of five years.
The City of Fitzgerald v. Caruthers, A15A0442
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/2/2015, 8/3/2015)
TORTS: Negligence, Immunity
The defendant city was not entitled to summary judgment on the plaintiff's claims alleging that the city was liable for the failure to remove a decayed tree limb that crashed down on him while he was standing at the curb of a public road.
Zurich Am. Ins. Co. v. Omni Health Solutions LLC, A15A0170
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/2/2015, 7/31/2015)
INSURANCE LAW: Coverage, Appraisal
The trial court erred in ruling that an award made by the allegedly biased umpire in a dispute concerning the amount of covered loss under a commercial property insurance policy was not binding, as both parties' chosen appraisers—in addition to the umpire—expressly agreed to the award in writing.
Zaldivar v. Prickett, S14G1778
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (7/6/2015, 7/31/2015)
TORTS: Negligent Entrustment, Proximate Cause
An affirmative defense or immunity does not eliminate "fault" or cut off proximate cause, it only bars liability notwithstanding that the "fault" of the tortfeasor was a proximate cause of the injury in question.
Oglethorpe Power Corp. v. The Estate of James Forrister, A15A0374; A15A0375; A15A0376; A15A0377; A15A0522
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (7/1/2015, 7/31/2015)
TORTS: Nuisance
A limited liability company may recover nuisance damages for "discomfort and annoyance" when it is a non-resident property owner.
Bharadia v. State, S14G1149
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/31/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Extraordinary Motion for New Trial, Burglary, Aggravated Sodomy, Aggravated Sexual Battery
The trial court properly denied the defendant's extraordinary motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, since he failed to show the essential requirement that the delay in obtaining the DNA identification evidence from gloves used during the crimes was not caused by a lack of due diligence.
In the Matter of Tanya Y. Brockington, S15Y1099
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (7/27/2015, 7/31/2015)
LEGAL PROFESSION: Disbarment, Attorney-Client Relationship
The Supreme Court disbarred an attorney based on her abandonment of three clients' legal matters.
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