Georgia Court of Appeals Expands Ministerial Acts for the Purposes of Official Immunity

Tracey Roberts and her husband were injured when the vehicle that she was driving struck a pile of dirt and an excavator at a Carroll County Water Authority (“CCWA”) work site. As a result, Roberts filed a personal injury action against CCWA and Henry Junior Mulkey, a CCWA employee, in his individual capacity. Roberts v. Mulkey, 343 Ga. App. 685, 808 S.E.2d 32, 34 (2017). The trial court granted summary judgment to Mulkey on the basis of official immunity and CCWA on the basis of sovereign immunity. Additionally, the trial court found that even if Mulkey and CCWA were not entitled to immunity, they were still entitled to summary judgment because Roberts was the sole proximate cause of he

Eleventh Circuit Finds Trial Evidence of Litigation Funding Company Does Not Violate Collateral Sour

Last week, the Eleventh Circuit issued a published opinion in the long-litigated Houston v. Publix matter. See Opinion, Appeal No. 15-13851. In that personal injury suit, evidence of the plaintiff’s contract with and payments made by ML Healthcare, a “litigation investment” company that contracts with doctors to purchase the medical debt that plaintiffs incur at a discounted rate, was deemed discoverable by the district court and, thereafter, admitted as evidence at trial. The appellate court found that Georgia’s collateral source rule does not protect or require exclusion of the information if it was not being admitted for the sole purpose of reducing damages. In the Houston case, the co

The Georgia Court of Appeals Affirms that Dismissal Due to Lack of Service is not an Adjudication on

Teena Anderson filed suit to recover for injuries sustained from a collision with a vehicle owned by Clarence Lewis and driven by his grandson, Dana Brown. The trial court dismissed Brown as a party due to lack of service and subsequently granted summary judgment for Lewis finding that Brown's dismissal was fatal to the derivative liability claim against Lewis under the family purpose doctrine. On appeal, the Georgia Court of Appeals held that Anderson's failure to perfect service on Brown did not constitute an adjudication on the merits and; therefore, provided no basis for granting summary judgment for Lewis. Anderson v. Lewis, 2017 WL 6419990 (Ga. Ct. App. 2017). The family purpose doctri

Georgia Court of Appeals Identifies Limits on Defendant Business Entity's Ability to Remove an A

In the Georgia Court of Appeals, the issue presented to the Court was whether a domestic motor carrier retains the right to remove a case under OCGA § 14-2-510(b)(4), due to its status as a business entity, when venue is predicated on OCGA § 40-1-117(b). Blakemore v. Dirt Movers, Inc., 2018 WL 359951 (Ga. Ct. App. 2018). Following the death of her daughter in a motor vehicle accident, Natasha Blakemore filed a wrongful death action against Dirt Movers, its driver, and its liability insurance carrier in the State Court of Bibb County. Blakemore established that Dirt Movers was a domestic corporation engaged in interstate commerce and registered with, licensed by, and insured in accordance

Georgia Court of Appeals Denies Sovereign Immunity to Officers Engaged in a High-Speed Chase After a

Shirley and Nile Wingler were injured when a speeding car driven by a suspect who was fleeing law enforcement crashed into their car. The Winglers sued the sheriffs of Lamar and Monroe Counties in their official capacities (the “Lamar Sheriff” and “Monroe Sheriff”), and alleged that the actions of the sheriffs' deputies in initiating and continuing the high-speed car chase proximately caused their injuries. Wingler v. White, 2017 WL 6046718 (Ga. Ct. App. 2017). The high-speed chase started as a routine traffic stop by a Lamar deputy; however, the driver fled and quickly reached speeds of 120 mph. As the pursuit continued, the Lamar deputy's patrol car hit the median and blew a tire, forci

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