“Quasi-Criminal” Standard Relaxed for Workers’ Compensation Claims

Since 2015, the general rule regarding workers’ compensation benefits following an injury caused by an employee’s intentional violation of a work rule or directive, was that a Claimant who fails to follow directions, fails to use proper safety equipment, or even willfully disobeys the orders of his supervisor will not be absolutely barred from the award of benefits absent at least “quasi-criminal conduct.” The Supreme Court of Georgia recently held that an intentional act will bar workers’ compensation benefits when done either with the knowledge that the act is likely to result in serious injury, or with a wanton and reckless disregard of its probable injurious consequences. The Georgia S

Lost Evidence not in Anticipation of Litigation Will not Support Spoliation Sanctions

On November 7, 2011, Brenda Sheats was injured while shopping at a Kroger grocery store when a glass bottle fell out of its package and struck Sheats’ foot. As a result of her injuries, Sheats sued The Kroger Co. and Clayton Distributing Company, Inc. (“Clayton”), asserting claims based upon product liability, ordinary negligence, and res ipsa loquitur. Sheats v. The Kroger Co., 2017 WL 3940993 (Ga. Ct. App. 2017). Sheats also filed a motion for spoliation sanctions, claiming that Kroger destroyed evidence that was essential to her complaint. Id. After Sheats’ injury, Kroger’s store manager completed a “Customer Incident Report & Investigation Check List,” (the “Incident Report”) which in

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