Georgia Premises Liability Attorneys Discusses Roof Collapse Cases
The state of Georgia continues to distinguish the difference between invitees and licensees on premises. The distinction is out moded, and some jurisdictions like Illinois have moved to abolish in favor of their legislature enacting one all-encompassing burden. Nonetheless, under Georgia law, a landowner, premises owner, or the person under whose control the premises lies owes a duty of care to their invitees to keep them free from harm. If you or someone you loves suffered personal injuries in Georgia, then the premises liability attorneys at Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law can help you maximize your opportunity to recover damages for your injuries.
Diners at a Castleberry Hill eatery got the shock of their lives recently when the roof of the restaurant in which they were eating collapsed on their heads, according to 11 Alive. Six people were injured. One male suffered a head injury, but witnesses reported that he was conscious and alert. Four people were sent to the hospital with reportedly minor injuries. One of the diners who escaped injury said there was no was warning when the ceiling started to fall. The female diner said that the noise sounded like the restaurant was being "shot up." She also indicated that people went diving for cover wherever they could find it.
The roof and ceiling of the establishment crashed down during a rainstorm. Firefighters estimated that there were between 30 and 35 people inside the restaurant when the roof gave way. Almost half of the restaurant's roof caved in and fell. The restaurant's guests and employees were lucky there were only a few injuries. Still, another patron told reporters that a tremendous amount of water came rushing into the restaurant when the roof opened, forcing the patrons to swim to safety.
Video footage shot from a drone flying over the eatery showed the massive damage. The video shows the hole, which is about as wide as the restaurant itself, beginning just inside the front door of the restaurant and proceeding deeper back. An adjacent building depicts pooling of rainwater in the approximate location of the collapsed area. The weight of the falling roof and ceiling crushed everything in its path, but no damage appears to have been done to the rear of the establishment.
The restauranteurs do not own the building and were as shocked as everyone else when the roof caved in. They were also very thankful that there were no additional injuries, while apologetic to those who were injured. In fact, they told reporters that they would work in close collaboration with the owner of the building to determine why the roof collapsed. Atlanta firefighters immediately suspected the weather played a role in the incident. Because the adjacent buildings had the same flat roofing, similar to the restaurant, those neighboring establishments were closed for a safety inspection.
In Georgia, a person who induces, or invites, another to enter into a premises owes that invitee a high duty of care. Pursuant to Georgia statute §51-3-1, if the owner or proprietor failed to exercise reasonable care in keeping a building safe, he or she can be liable to those invited onto the property for business purposes. The obvious question then, in light of §51-3-1 is whether the building owners or restaurateurs knew that the roof was compromised, perhaps due to poor drainage.
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If you have been injured on someone else's property, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today to learn about your legal rights and options. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 37 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Our premises liability lawyers have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over 37 years.
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