Georgia Appeals Court Reverses Denial of Summary Judgment to Defendants in Premises Liability Case
December 17, 2021 (Atlanta, GA) – Hawkins Parnell & Young convinced the Georgia Court of Appeals to reverse a denial of summary judgment by the trial court for a security company in a premises liability and negligent security case. The panel of judges found that the shooting of a widow and her husband by armed robbers on a restaurant’s premises was not foreseeable.
The case arose after the plaintiff was injured and her husband killed in an unprovoked shooting in the well-lit and busy parking lot of a popular Atlanta-area restaurant. Plaintiff sued the property owner and the contracted security company under claims of premises liability, negligence, and wrongful death. Both defendants moved for summary judgment, which the trial court denied.
On appeal, the trial court ruling was reversed in favor of both defendants, with the appellate panel finding the crime was not foreseeable and further, as to the security company, that the plaintiff was not a third-party beneficiary of the security services contract and that the security company owed no duty to the plaintiff. The case represents a significant win for landowners and private security companies in Georgia with a well-reasoned and dutiful application of Georgia law on the foreseeability of third-party criminal attacks.