Georgia Sup. Ct. Allows Cross Claims to Stand in 2013 Thomson, Georgia, Plane Crash Case
GEORGIA – According to an online news report posted at augustachronicle.com, the Georgia Supreme Court issued a ruling that will allow cross claims to move forward in a 2013 plane crash case from Thomson, Georgia. The crash tragically killed five people, according to the report, and in civil lawsuits filed on behalf of the victims, one defendant filed cross claims against another defendant.*
The plane crash happened in early 2013 by the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport in Thomson. A private plane carrying two pilots and five employees of Vein Guys crashed into a transmission power pole operated by Georgia Power. The pole was located on land owned by Milliken and Company. Tragically, the five Vein Guys employees were killed. The two pilots survived.
Following the crash, family members of the victims filed seven civil lawsuits that named both Georgia Power and Milliken as defendants. Milliken then filed cross claims against Georgia Power, saying that the power company was liable for the claims pursuant to an easement the parties agreed to in 1989. Georgia Power moved for summary judgment on the cross claims, and the trial court granted its motion.
On appeal, summary judgment in favor of Georgia Power was affirmed, and the case moved up to the Georgia Supreme Court. The Supreme Court overturned summary judgment, holding that the easement agreement limited Georgia Power’s liability regarding the power pole. A jury will need to decide the companies’ share of responsibility in construction of the pole, the justices held. The cross claims will now return to the trial court for a jury to hear.
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