The Firm won a hard fought battle for a client in the Georgia Supreme Court. Client Joseph Smith sustained a gunshot injury when a co-worker negligently pointed a jammed gun at him and the gun discharged, shooting Joseph through both legs. Mr. Smith initially filed a workers comp claim which was settled with a “no-liability” stipulation for $6000 when it became evident the comp claim would not be successful. Mr. Smith then hired Mitchell & Shapiro to help him pursue a claim against his co-worker for negligently shooting him. The trial court ruled that Mr. Smith could not pursue such a claim because the co-worker was protected by the workers comp law’s “exclusive remedy” provision, which says that an injured employee cannot sue an employer or a co-worker for negligence where he recovers on a workers comp claim. The case was appealed by the Firm to the Georgia Court of Appeals, which tied 6-6 on whether the trial court should be reversed and Mr. Smith’s claim allowed to proceed. The Firm then took the case to the Supreme Court of Georgia, which unanimously accepted the Firm’s argument that the co-employee was not entitled to the protection of the workers comp law because he was not actually working when he negligently shot Mr. Smith. That Court reversed the trial court and our client was able to settle his claim for the co-employee’s homeowners policy limits of $300,000.
This case, which can be found at http://www.gasupreme.us/sc-op/pdf/s12a1174.pdf is an example of how hard we fight for our clients to obtain a just result.