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Six Flags Beating Case: Testing the Limits of Georgia’s Premises Liability Laws

A premises liability lawsuit involving Six Flags, the world’s largest regional theme park company, will soon be heard by the Georgia Supreme Court, reports The Marietta Daily Journal. Premises liability claims filed against a business generally involve an injured person claiming that they were hurt while on the business’ property because the premises was not properly maintained. However, the premises liability claim filed against Six Flags is a bit out of the ordinary and is testing the limits of Georgia’s premises liability laws by posing the following question: If someone is threatened on a business’ property and then flees to escape the danger, how far can they run before the liability of the business runs out?

The Case

Back in 2007, a 19-year-old boy visited Six Flags during the day with his friends and then was attacked at a bus stop after the park closed. It has been reported that when the victim was exiting Six Flags he and his friends encountered a group of approximately 40 men wearing similar T-shirts and that several men from this gang pursued the victim and beat him up at a bus stop located just beyond Six Flags’ property. The victim was beaten with brass knuckles, suffered severe and permanent brain damage, and went into a coma that lasted for a week.

After this incident, a jury in Georgia awarded the victim $35 million in damages and apportioned 92% of the fault to Six Flags for failing to adequately maintain its premises. However, over the past few years the case has made its way through the appellate system and will soon be heard by the Georgia Supreme Court. The key issue that will be debated before our state’s highest court is whether or not Six Flags was required by our state’s premises liability laws to maintain safety at the bus stop where the victim was attacked.

Six Flags’ attorneys have argued that the amusement park is not liable for the attack because Georgia law limits premises liability to “premises and approaches,” and that a bus stop located next to the company’s property does not qualify as an approach. However, the victim’s attorneys disagree and have contended that premises liability in this case extends down the road to the bus stop because that is the way in which visitors come and go to the park, that it is part of their approach, and that therefore Six Flags had an obligation to maintain it in a safe condition. This case is undoubtedly testing the limits of Georgia’s premises liability laws, but we will probably have to wait about six months or so before the Georgia Supreme Court issues their ruling on this matter.

Need Legal Advice?

If you or someone you love has been injured due to the negligence of a Georgia property owner, contact the experienced injury attorneys at The Angell Law Firm, LLC today. Our experienced personal injury attorneys would be happy to discuss your legal options with you during a free no obligation consultation. If you are unable to come to our office in Atlanta we would be happy to come to you. Contact us by calling (770) 217-4954 or via our online contact form.

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