Georgia Court Says You Have No Duty to Your Fellow Man

Woman can’t find her husband. She’s scared. She panics. She frantically calls the motel where she thinks he is staying on a business trip. “Can you please check on my husband?” The motel’s response: “nah.” She calls multiple times. Same answer. Next morning, the hotel housekeeper finds him dead.

Woman files a lawsuit and gets the medical testimony you would have thought had been impossible to get: the man would have lived if he received medical treatment when the motel was asked to check on the man.

The Supreme Court of Georgia, in a 4-3 decision, found that a hotel manager has no legal duty to investigate the health and safety of a guest by request. If the motel had knowledge that its invitee was in “imminent danger because of observation of the physical peril; no manner of investigation or inquiry was at issue.”

The dissenting opinion – and “Judge Me” agrees – was that Georgia would be better served joining the majority of states that have adopted the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 314A and finding that the innkeeper is obligated to act if he “knows or has reason to know” that his guest is ill or injured.

You can find the opinion here. Ken Shigley also summarizes the opinion here.