Elissa B. Haynes, Robert A. Luskin Obtain Summary Judgment

Elissa B. Haynes and Robert A. Luskin obtained summary judgment on behalf of a property owner in a negligent security case. Plaintiffs’ Estate filed suit against the property owner and the tenant who operated the Atlanta gas station, after Plaintiff was shot and killed in the parking lot. Plaintiffs’ claims against the property owner included negligent failure to inspect and maintain the premises, failure to provide adequate security, failure to warn, and maintenance of a nuisance. Plaintiffs also sought punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. During the hearing on Defendant’s motion, which was argued by Ms. Haynes, Plaintiffs alleged that the property owner had actual or constructive knowledge of criminal activity in the parking lot and that the property owner had a duty to conduct inspections which would have uncovered a history of crime on the premises.

DeKalb County State Court Judge Stacey Hydrick sided with the defense on all counts, despite Plaintiffs’ Post-Hearing Brief, and found that Plaintiffs failed to present any evidence from which a jury could determine that the property owner had knowledge of prior substantially similar incidents at the subject premises. Judge Hydrick further noted that there is no duty under Georgia law for a property owner to investigate police files to determine whether criminal activity had occurred on its premises. A Notice of Appeal was recently filed by Plaintiffs. The case is Shirley Bolton, et al. v. Rikaz Food, Inc., et al., case number 16A60394, in the State Court of DeKalb County.

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