Thanks to hard work from The Champion Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, the City of Atlanta is paying $700,000 to a Delta Employee who was injured outside a terminal at ATL (Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport).
What Happened? The Atlanta Airport Injury:
In 2017, our client was working as a gate agent for Delta Airlines at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport when her serious foot injury occurred. Our client sustained the injury as she was exiting a shuttle bus that transported employees from the employee parking lot to various locations on airport property. The shuttle bus dropped her and other employees off at the lower level of the terminal. As she stepped off the bus, her left foot stepped in a rectangular hole in the roadway. This caused her to roll her ankle, resulting in an inversion injury. This is a photograph of the hole that caused her injury:
Based on an extensive investigation, our Atlanta Personal Injury Firm determined that the hole had been there for nearly two months before our client’s injury. The hole was created when a contractor that the City of Atlanta hired to do work in the area in October 2017 failed to properly repair the road surface when the work was completed. After our client’s injury, the City had the contractor promptly fix it. Unfortunately, that was too late for our client, who sustained a serious foot injury.
Our client’s injuries to her foot included:
- Complete tear of the anterior talofibular ligament.
- Complete tear of the calcaneofibular ligament.
- Sprain of the deltoid ligament.
- Non-displaced fracture of the cuboid with associated bone-marrow edema.
- Bone-marrow contusion involving the anterior process of the talus.
Due to these injuries, our client had to undergo months of offices visits, painful physical therapy, injections, and ultimately a surgery. Even after the extensive treatment she received, our client still had pain and discomfort in her foot and limited range of motion. She even had to give up her job at Delta Airlines because she was unable to stand for long periods of time.
The Case: The Champion Firm Process
After being retained, The Champion Firm Personal Injury Attorneys sent Open Records Act requests to the City of Atlanta to determine who was responsible for the hole. Our investigation concluded the City was responsible. As a result, we had to send an ante litem notice to the City within six months of our client’s injury as required by O.C.G.A. § 36-33-5. Ante litem notices are required in Georgia when there is a claim against a City, County, or the State. There are different requirements for each. The purpose of this requirement is to put the governmental entity on notice of the claim and give it the opportunity to investigate and settle the case before a lawsuit is filed.
In our case, the City declined to settle the case. As a result, we filed a lawsuit against the City of Atlanta in the State Court of Clayton County. We also named the Atlanta Airlines Terminal Corporation (AATC) as a defendant because they manage the terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The City of Atlanta responded to the lawsuit and initially denied that it was negligent. The City claimed it was not responsible for the hole, and that it was not a hazard. Through depositions and written discovery, The Champion Firm was able to prove that the City was responsible for the area, and that it was negligent for allowing the hole to exist and in failing to repair it. The City requested that we mediate the case to try to settle it without going to trial.
The Outcome: $700,000 Client Settlement
Darl Champion represented the client as lead counsel on the case and represented her at mediation. He prepared a detailed mediation presentation that outlined the facts and law related to the City’s liability and our client’s damages. After a lengthy mediation, the City agreed to pay our client $700,000 for her injuries.
Because our client was working at the time of her injury, she was also able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits from Delta. Georgia law prevents you from suing your employer if you get injured on the job because workers’ compensation benefits are the exclusive remedy for injured employees. However, Georgia law does allow an injured worker to sue third parties who cause an injury. As a result, The Champion Firm was able to pursue the claims against the City and obtain a settlement for the City’s negligence.
Representing Personal Injury and Premise Liability Clients across Georgia
If you have been injured on someone’s property, it is important that you consult with an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. There are strict time limits that govern the filing of claims, especially when a governmental entity such as a City is involved. If you have questions about your injury case, contact The Champion Firm for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the contact form on our website.