Reversal of the Denial of a Motion for Summary Judgment Based Upon the Fireman’s Rule

Posted in Verdicts and Settlements on October 5, 2017

Atlanta, GA – Court of Appeals - Joshua C Canton, a partner in the firm's Tallahassee office who is also licensed in Georgia, recently obtained a reversal of the denial of a motion for summary judgment based upon the Fireman’s Rule.  In this case, Joshua represented a property owner who was sued for negligence and punitive damages for leaving grass trimmings on a public roadway after mowing his lawn. The plaintiff, a deputy sheriff, claimed that he was responding to a crash caused by the grass trimmings when he himself lost control of his vehicle and crashed after driving over the same grass trimmings. At the conclusion of discovery, Joshua filed a motion for summary judgment based upon the Fireman’s Rule, which states that if a negligently created risk resulting in injury to an officer was the very reason for the officer’s presence in his professional capacity, then recovery is barred. The trial court denied the motion for summary judgment.  Joshua then filed an interlocutory appeal.  The Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court, finding that the trial court erred in refusing to apply the Fireman’s Rule to Plaintiff’s claims.