New Georgia Supreme Court Ruling Helps Plaintiffs
Recently, the Georgia Supreme Court issued a staggering, landmark decision that will only serve to help plaintiffs. Several years ago, the Georgia legislature created the “apportionment statute,” a law that mandates courts to reduce damages awarded to plaintiffs. If a jury is convinced that someone who is not a party to the case caused or contributed to the damages suffered by someone, that jury can assign whatever percentage it thinks that non-party is at fault for. For example, if a jury awards a plaintiff $100,000 but decides a non-party was 50% at fault, the judge was obligated to reduce the award to the plaintiff to $50,000.
Now, as long as the plaintiff him or herself did not contribute to the damages, it no longer matters how much fault is assigned to a non-party. If that same jury above did the same thing, the plaintiff is awarded the entire $100,000. This is a tremendous blow to a common insurance tactic of casting a wide net to find others to blame, in the hopes of confusing a jury and keeping awards low. Especially in cases involving a bar or a store, defense lawyers would blame cleaning companies, engineers, manufacturers of rugs, and even anonymous John Does to attempt to justify the lowball offers their insurance clients would make.
This is an amazing decision from the Georgia Supreme Court, which will allow plaintiffs to obtain the compensation they sorely deserve and have waited on for years. Bobby and John immediately filed bench briefs in their cases where this is an issue to make sure the judges presiding over their cases—and the defense lawyers casting blame elsewhere—knew about this exciting development.
Bobby and John work tirelessly to keep their cases moving as fast as they can and to stay on top of decisions like these that have a very real-world impact on their clients. If you need an advocate, please call us at (678) 967-4040.