A recent appeals case involving a store employee who was shot when he challenged a potential car thief in a parking lot illustrates the challenges that each fact pattern can represent. The opinion involving a Georgia premises liability claim stemming from a tragic murder at the grocery store.
According to the court’s opinion, a grocery store employee drove to work in his truck and parked it in the store’s parking lot. At work, he was assigned to clean debris from the store’s property. While he was working, the employee saw a car park next to the employee’s work truck. An individual exited the vehicle and approached the employee’s truck suspiciously. The employee and his co-worker ran towards the truck and approached the car. When the employee approached the window, a man shot and killed him.
The employee’s surviving spouse (the plaintiff) filed a lawsuit against the grocery store, claiming the store’s negligence was responsible for her husband’s death. Specifically, the plaintiff’s claim alleged that the store was negligent in failing to maintain, inspect, and manage the premises. Further, she contended that the grocery store was negligent in failing to warn and remediate a long history of crime at the property.