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Tassen v. Waffle House, Inc. -- Court of Appeals of Georgia

Case Conclusion Date: 01.01.1996

Practice Area: Slip and Fall Accident

Outcome: Court found in favor of our Client, Case Settled

Description: 472 S.E.2d 545 (1996) 221 Ga. App. 755 TASSEN v. WAFFLE HOUSE, INC. No. A96A0512. Court of Appeals of Georgia. June 18, 1996. Jeffrey H. Dover, Atlanta, for appellant. Croy, Harris & Hammond, A. Cullen Hammond, Atlanta, for appellee. McMURRAY, Presiding Judge. This is a rainy day slip and fall case. Plaintiff Tassen was injured when, after dining at a restaurant operated by defendant Waffle House, Inc., she attempted to use some outside stairs constructed of railroad ties which were on her route back to an adjacent motel. Plaintiff and her companion had walked to the restaurant by a different route, so she encountered the steps for the first time immediately before her fall. After successfully addressing the first step, plaintiff's foot slipped from under her when she placed it on the second step. Plaintiff had no difficulty seeing the steps and saw no foreign substance other than the rain to account for 546*546 the slippery condition of the steps. A summary judgment was granted in favor of defendant, and plaintiff appeals. Held: We have often cited Gibson v. Consolidated Credit Corp., 110 Ga.App. 170, 172, 138 S.E.2d 77 for the proposition that installation of an accepted building material does not constitute negligence simply because it becomes slippery when wet because there is scarcely any material that might be used in construction that is not made somewhat slippery by the presence of water. But we have also recognized that the use of inappropriate materials may present a particular peril when wet. Stephens v. Ernie's Steakhouse, etc., 215 Ga.App. 166, 168(1), 450 S.E.2d 275. In the case sub judice, we have evidence of such an extreme peril in that plaintiff has presented an expert's affidavit stating that railroad ties are extremely slippery when wet because they are coated with creosote and that the steps at issue were inherently dangerous, due in part to the use of inappropriate materials in the construction of the steps. Complete details at:,11

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