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Georgia Appeals Court Upholds Summary Judgment in Gas Fire Injury Case

July 9, 2021 – Press Release

July 9, 2021 (Atlanta, GA) – The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Hawkins Parnell & Young's client, a fire suppression equipment company in Georgia. Frank Bedinger obtained the summary judgment in the trial court and teamed up with Bryan Grantham to preserve the victory after the plaintiff appealed.

This case arose from a kitchen fire in a south Georgia church with a fire prevention system maintained by the client. The plaintiff, a volunteer cook at the church, suffered burn injuries from a gas fire while igniting the stove pilot light. The fire was due to an improperly capped gas line from when the church upgraded the deep fryer to a large stove. The plaintiff claims that Hawkins Parnell's client should have noted the issue during an inspection of its systems. 

Frank and Bryan successfully argued that the defendant had no duty to inspect other kitchen equipment. They also showed that even if the client examined other equipment, it would have been outside their expertise and could not be liable for the injuries. Both the trial court and appeals court agreed with the defense presented by Hawkins Parnell.