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Georgia Verdicts

Find out about the most important recent Georgia cases, selected by VerdictSearch editors. Coverage includes Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

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Defense: Apartment complex security was adequate

A jury returned a defense verdict in a case in which a man was shot to death during an apparent carjacking in the parking lot of the apartment complex where he lived. Franklin Callens’ widow and his estate sued the owner/manager of the apartments, ECI Management Corp. and Cobb-Six Flags Associates, LTD, for Callens’ wrongful death. They alleged that the defendants provided inadequate security, despite knowledge that the complex was located in a high-crime area. The defense responded that the security working at the complex was adequate. A defense security expert opined that the complex’s security measures were standard and adequate and the timing of Callens’ shooting at 9 a.m. on a Sunday, when no security was present, was unforeseeable.
Estate of Callens and ECI Management Corp.
Cobb County

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Illegal service of alcohol led to fatal car crash, per lawsuit

The estate of a driver who was killed in a car accident and passengers who were injured in the same crash were awarded a total of $27,091,053.90 by a Fulton County jury. Pamela Sitton was killed in the broadside crash, which caused her car to overturn at least twice and then hit another vehicle at the intersection. Her son, Christian Sitton, was injured, as was another passenger, Julie Pugh. A dram shop suit was filed against Ceeda Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Riley’s Show Bar, claiming the underage driver of the other vehicle had been negligently served alcohol at Riley’s prior to the crash. The case proceeded to a damages-only hearing when a default judgment was entered against Ceeda after its answer did not get filed in a timely fashion.
Sitton v. Ceeda Enterprises Inc.
Fulton County

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Railing break led to disabled man’s death, estate claimed

A jury awarded $4.6 million to the estate of a man who died while on his apartment patio, with a net award after setoffs and fault apportionment of $2.2 million. Antoine Hendrix, a paraplegic in a motorized wheelchair, was on the patio when his wheelchair rolled into the bottom railing, which broke. His estate claimed Hendrix’s neck got caught on the top railing, suffocating him, when the front wheels of his wheelchair went off the patio. His estate sued Carter-Haston Holdings LLC, Carter-Haston Real Estate Services Inc. and Hickory Falls Apt., L.P., alleging inadequate repair/maintenance. The defense denied liability, arguing that Hendrix had died or was dying from a drug overdose when his wheelchair rolled into the railing.
Estate of Hendrix v. Hickory Falls Apt., L.P.
Fulton County

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