September 17, 2020 BY DEF Admin
Court of Appeals Victory in Negligent Security Case
On September 17, 2020, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a unanimous Opinion in ABH Corporation et al. v. Montgomery, a case involving a plaintiff who was attacked in the parking lot of an Atlanta gas station and convenience store. Drew Eckl Partner Elissa Haynes served as lead appellate counsel. The trial court had previously denied Defendants’ motion for summary judgment and subsequent motion for reconsideration based solely upon Plaintiff’s evidence of 911 call logs showing the police had been called to the gas station on multiple occasions throughout the years.
In reversing the trial court’s summary judgment denial, the Court of Appeals first reiterated that there is no authority in Georgia which imposes a duty upon a property owner to investigate police files to determine whether criminal activity has occurred on its premises. The Court further addressed Plaintiff’s own knowledge of the criminal activity on the premises and found that Plaintiff failed to show there was an issue of material fact concerning whether the store’s knowledge of crime was superior to his own. In so holding, the Court relied heavily upon Bolton v. Golden Business, another favorable Court of Appeals negligent security case which was handled by Ms. Haynes. A copy of the Montgomery Opinion can be found by clicking the link below.
Elissa Haynes is a Partner and Chair of the Appellate Practice Group at Drew Eckl & Farnham where she specializes in both trial and appellate practice. Elissa has argued before the Georgia Supreme Court and Georgia Court of Appeals and was part of the first group of attorneys to argue at the Georgia Supreme Court remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Elissa routinely consults on appellate matters and often begins her involvement at the trial court level to perfect the record and maximize chances of an advantageous result in any subsequent appeal. She also serves as Chair of the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association’s Amicus Curiae Committee where she is tasked with reviewing amicus requests from GDLA members as well as authoring and submitting briefs on issues that pose particular significance to the defense bar.