The Georgia Whistleblower Act May Apply to a City

In March 2020, the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld a jury verdict in favor of a former police lieutenant and a city clerk against the City of Pendergrass. City of Pendergrass v. Rintoul, --- S.E.2d ----, 2020 WL 1242886 (2020). Plaintiffs Rintoul and Garner were both employed by the City of Pendergrass from 2005 through 2009. The plaintiff’s brought claims of retaliation under the Georgia Whistleblower Act. In June 2009, plaintiffs submitted documentation to the mayor, which they believed amounted to misuse of public tax money, misuse of city equipment, bribery of public officials, and employment of an undocumented immigrant. A day before the meeting with the mayor, Garner met with the c

Court Limits Some Indirect Benefits Arguments Against Recreational Property Act Immunity

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently reversed its decision that a landowner’s subjective intent in the use of its property or any indirect financial benefits received by the use of its property created fact questions under the Recreational Property Act (the “RPA”). Mercer Univ. v. Stofer, A17A1515, 2020 WL 1239700 (Ga. Ct. App. Mar. 13, 2020). Sally Stofer’s family sued after she suffered fatal injuries while attending a free concert which Mercer University (“Mercer”) hosted at a public park. Her family filed a wrongful death action against Mercer, asserting negligence claims. Mercer’s motion for summary judgment arguing that it was immune under the RPA was denied based on the Court findi

Where a Court Issues an Oral Ruling, it Retains Jurisdiction Over Discovery Sanctions Even When a Pl

In a recent Georgia Court of Appeal decision, Baker v. Atlantic States Insurance Company, --- S.E.2d ----, 2020 WL 1149933 (Ga. Ct. App. 2020) the Court upheld the ruling of a trial court permitting attorney’s fees as a sanction for a plaintiff’s willful violation of discovery. The plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her case after a hearing was held related to the discovery violation, but before the trial court entered its order. At the hearing, the trial court announced that it was awarding attorney’s fees and costs to the defendant. However, before the trial court entered its order, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her case. The plaintiff contended that the trial court lacked jurisdict

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