Eleventh Circuit Reiterates that A Clearly Established Right Must Be Specific

In Corbitt v. Vickers 929 F.3d 1304 (11th Cir. Ju. 10, 2019), a parent brought constitutional claims against a police officer after their child was shot while the officer was attempting to shoot their family dog. The Southern District of Georgia denied the officer’s motion to dismiss based on qualified immunity. The officer appealed and the Eleventh Circuit held that the child’s right to not be accidentally shot in the leg was not clearly established. At the time of the incident, one adult and six minor children were in the parent’s yard while the parent was inside the home. Vickers and other officers entered the yard and, according to the complaint, demanded everyone, including the child

Violation of Motion in Limine Leads Court to Grant New Trial

On April 11, 2013, John Williams was operating a tractor when he was hit by a dump truck being operated by Rubin Harvey, Jr.. Williams was thrown from the tractor and sustained serious injuries, including brain trauma. Williams subsequently underwent medical evaluations and participated in physical therapy. Williams was discharged to his residence five weeks later. At trial, Williams claimed damages related to dementia, medication required for seizures, trouble walking, becoming easily agitated and confused, and sexual dysfunction. He claimed to require 24-hour-supervision for daily tasks. Williams also wears a gait belt because he is at high risk for falling. At trial, Williams was wea

Contract Controls in Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In Cline v. Allstate Property Casualty Insurance, 841 S.E.2d 63 (Ga. Ct. App. 2020), an insured argued that a 2008 statute required uninsured motorist coverage to equal the amount listed for liability coverage in an insurance policy and could not be waived. The insurer argued that the insured had voluntarily opted for a decreased amount. Cline was involved in an automobile accident in 2016, and incurred medical bills totaling $94,000. After receiving the tortfeasor’s policy limits of $25,000, Cline sought to recover from his uninsured motorist coverage. Allstate argued that Cline’s coverage was only $25,000 due to the language in the insurance contract. Cline argued that due to a 2008 sta

Clear Dashboard and Body Cam Video are Vital to Potential Litigation

The Eleventh Circuit recently overruled an Alabama district court’s grant of qualified immunity to an officer where the video recordings from two separate police dashcams failed to accurately show a tussle where an officer utilized a leg sweep which ultimately partially paralyzed the plaintiff. Because one officer who was on scene blocked one camera’s view and because the other dashcam was too far away and grainy, the appellate court found that it was “impossible to observe forceful wretching, let alone movements, by [the plaintiff].” Relying on the plaintiff’s version of facts, as one must at the summary judgment stage, the court found that a jury could reasonably find the plaintiff was n

A Plaintiff’s Equal or Superior Knowledge of a Potential Hazard Remains Key to Premises Liability

On July 1, 2016, Yulonda Girardot and her four grandchildren were guests at a Days Inn hotel (the “hotel”). Girardot’s hotel room was located in close proximity to the hotel’s pool. That evening, Girardot and her grandchildren walked to the pool. At some point, Girardot left the pool area to escort her youngest grandson to the bathroom. Girardot and her grandson traversed the same route back toward the hotel room that they had taken to the pool. It was near dusk and lights illuminated the sidewalk leading from the pool area to the hotel room. At her deposition, Girardot described that as she walked from the pool area, lights illuminated the sidewalk and she saw that the sidewalk leading to t

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