Georgia Court of Appeals

Court Finds Arbitration Clause Waived Due To Delay In Demanding Arbitration

Arbitration

CONTRACTUAL RIGHT TO ARBITRATION WAIVED BY DELAY AND PREJUDICE TO OPPOSING PARTY The Georgia Court of Appeals chipped away at the trend to submit cases to arbitration whenever possible in SunTrust Bank v. Lilliston, 338 Ga. App. 738, 791 S.E.2d 614 (2016),  According to the court of appeals, this was a case of first impression….

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EMPLOYEE WHO FAILED TO DISCLOSE PRIOR WORK INJURY STILL ENTITLED TO WORKERS’ COMP BENEFITS

EMPLOYEE WHO FAILED TO DISCLOSE PRIOR WORK INJURY ON JOB APPLICATION STILL ENTITLED TO WORK WITHIN RESTRICTIONS OR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS FROM CURRENT  EMPLOYER McDuffie v. Ocmulgee EMC, 338 Ga. App. 200, 789 S.E.2d 415 (2016), illustrated an extremely convoluted decision from the Georgia Court of Appeals. Ten judges participated in this decision. Three judges…

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BUSINESS RECORDS PROPERLY ADMITTED INTO EVIDENCE AT TRIAL

Wachovia Bank held a promissory note from Dianne Matthews for money she had borrowed.  Wells Fargo Bank acquired Wachovia and later filed suit against Matthews for breach of the promissory note. Matthews failed to answer the complaint and a default judgment was entered against her in the Forsyth County Superior Court.  A bench trial was…

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Service By Publication Allowed Against Defendant Intentionally Evading Personal Service

This case concerned a defendant who was aware that the plaintiff was attempting personal service of the complaint. The defendant intentionally avoided personal service despite several attempts by the plaintiff to perfect service.  The Georgia Court of Appeals’ decision in Cascade Parc Property Owners Association, Inc., v. Clark, 336 Ga. App. 99, 783 S.E.2d 692…

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Punitive Damages in a Car Accident?

  Rarely do automobile collision lawsuits involve awards of punitive damages.  This case involved such an award and it was upheld by the Georgia Court of Appeals in Dagne v. Schroeder, 336 Ga. App. 36, 783 S.E.2d 426 (2016). On November 11, 2011, Plaintiff Sue Schroeder picked up her daughter at school and was driving…

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DEFENDANTS OBTAIN REVERSAL OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT

This case began when Met-Test, LLC, filed suit in magistrate court to collect unpaid bills from Sondi Moore-Waters, a physician,.  The magistrate court dismissed the suit, and Med-Test appealed to Fulton County Superior Court.  Med-Test moved to amend its complaint to add two defendants:  Alphonso Waters, Moore-Waters’ husband and practice manager, plus Family Practice of…

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PLAINTIFF LOSES DOG BITE CLAIM ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Plaintiff and her son were denied the chance to present their case at trial by the Georgia Court of Appeals in Swanson v. Tackling, (No. A15A2378, Ga. App. February 24, 2016). On April 26, 2012, Jessica Tackling and her seven-year-old son J.R., along with Jessica’s boyfriend Matthew Day, went to spend the weekend with Julia…

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Arbitration Clause Struck Down By Court of Appeals in Wrongful Death Claim

  If an arbitration agreement is present, courts rarely prevent parties from being required to arbitrate their disputes.  But the Court of Appeals did so in this case. In Norton v. United Health Services of Georgia, Inc., (No. A15A2268, Ga. App., March 2, 2016), the Georgia Court of Appeals examined whether an arbitration agreement was…

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Plaintiff Loses Claim for Failure to Serve Defendant

This case presents standards set by the Georgia Court of Appeals that can be sufficiently vague that they fail to provide guidance to future plaintiffs.  Such vague standards permit the Court of Appeals to choose the result it wants and then apply the standards to justify its result.  These vague standards can operate to prevent…

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PLAINTIFFS OBTAIN VENUE IN COUNTY WHERE LOSS OCCURRED

This recent decision of the Georgia Court of Appeals involved the question of venue for tort claims brought against the State of Georgia.  Four separate actions were consolidated for purposes of this appeal. The parents of Cayleb Drayton filed suit for negligence against the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia under the…

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