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Verdicts & Settlements

Lloyd Bell Secures $1.2M Verdict in Premises Liability Case

— June 2, 2020

ACP Peachtree Center and Spring Street Restaurant Group held accountable for injuring customer at Metro Café Diner.

Lloyd Bell of Bell Law Firm confirms the entry of a default judgment for roughly $1.2M in a premises liability case against the downtown Atlanta based ACP Peachtree Center and Metro Café Diner. The judgment arises from a lawsuit brought by Lisa Ruede after she incurred injuries when she slipped and fell on wet stairs at the diner in August of 2017. The fall resulted in injuries to her head, shoulder and elbow, that led to reconstructive surgery. The cause of the slippery stairs was determined to be a leaky pipe in the ceiling of the diner.

Both defendants failed to answer the complaint. The trial court held them both in default and entered judgment. The defendants moved to vacate the judgment and the default. The trial court held that the defendants remained in default on the question of liability, but the court allowed a trial on damages. Following the trial on damages, the court entered judgment for approximately $1.2M.

Evidence produced at the trial on damages indicated that the owner of the property was aware of pipe leaks but failed to repair the issue in a timely manner. The negligence was five-fold: active negligence by creating a slip hazard, allowing the hazard to remain, failing to inspect for a slip hazard, as well as failing to detect and correct a slip hazard.

“This case was a clear example of negligence,” says Lloyd Bell, lead attorney for Ruede, who tried the case with co-counsel Bruce Berger of The Berger Law Firm. “Both the landlord and the restaurant/tenant had the information they needed to create a safe environment, but instead carelessly failed to keep the property safe for members of the public coming into the restaurant. It’s completely unacceptable that it takes an innocent person getting badly injured for the diner to adopt appropriate safety measures.”

Gwinnett County Judge Ronda Colvin Leary reached the final judgement, considering the evidence of Ruede’s past medical expenses and extensive pain and suffering. “This verdict was well deserved and will provide Mrs. Ruede with the resources to maintain a sense of normalcy in her life. We hope other restaurant owners and managers will learn about this verdict and be mindful of the need to prioritize customer safety. The bottom line is customer safety is good for business,” notes Bell.

Bell Law Firm logo, courtesy of Bell Law Firm.
Bell Law Firm logo, courtesy of Bell Law Firm.

For more information about Bell Law Firm’s success in helping victims of negligence, visit:

About Bell Law Firm 

Bell Law Firm is Georgia’s preeminent firm for victims of medical malpractice. Founded in 1999 by Lloyd Bell, the firm has recovered more than $100 million for patients and families of people injured or killed due to medical negligence. Bell has more than 25 years of experience in federal and state courts, and he has represented clients in more than 80 jury trials and hundreds of successful settlements. Specializing in litigating misdiagnoses, surgical errors, and other types of malpractice, Bell Law firm differentiates itself with deep legal expertise, a mastery of technology in the courtroom and a compelling manner of storytelling. In 2018, Daily Report, the leading source of legal news in Atlanta, named Bell Law Firm as Personal Injury Litigation Team of the Year.

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