Public places like shopping centers often have multiple entities that share the responsibilities for maintaining the property. If a person is injured in a fall at a shopping center, it may initially be unclear who may be liable for the person’s harm, and the entities who own and maintain the property may attempt to shift blame. Under Georgia personal injury law, property owners often have certain duties to the public that, in most cases, they typically cannot delegate.
In Green v. Pateco Services, LLC, however, a Georgia Court of Appeals recently held that if a contract specifically imposes duties on an independent contractor to protect a plaintiff from harm, the plaintiff may recover from the independent contractor directly. If you were injured in a Georgia slip and fall accident, you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you determine the proper parties from whom you should pursue damages.
Facts of the Case
Reportedly, the plaintiff worked for a tavern, which was a restaurant in a shopping center. He was in the process of taking hot oil outside to dispose of it as part of his job duties. He was walking through the lot of the shopping center when he stepped on an uncovered water meter and spilled the oil onto himself, causing him to sustain third-degree burns. Plaintiff sued the tavern and the property owners, alleging they negligently failed to inspect the premises. The tavern subsequently joined a maintenance company in the lawsuit, alleging the maintenance company was responsible for the accident.