In Michael Zachary v. Family Dollar Stores of Georgia, LLC, 1:20-cv-1266-TCB (N.D. Ga. April 16, 2021), the plaintiff went to the Family Dollar store to purchase shoe inserts for his wife. The plaintiff testified that he walked down the aisle, grabbed the inserts, and slipped on a liquid substance as he walked back up the aisle. Mr. Zachary testified that he must have stepped over the liquid substance and that he was retracing his steps at the time of the fall. James Hankins and Samantha Mullis moved for summary judgment arguing that because the plaintiff previously traversed the hazard, he could not prove that Family Dollar had superior knowledge of the danger.
The Northern District of Georgia found that under Georgia law “when a person successfully negotiates a dangerous condition, she is presumed to have knowledge of that condition and cannot recover for a subsequent injury resulting from the hazard.” El Ranchero Mex. Rest., No. 10 v. Hiner, 728 S.E.2d 761, 764 (Ga. Ct. App. 2012) (citing Pierce v. Wendy’s Int’l, Inc., 504 S.E.2d 14, 17 (Ga. Ct. App. 1998)). Ultimately, the Northern District Court agreed with Family Dollar’s argument and granted summary judgment in its favor. Click HERE for the full order.