Client Alerts

The Honorable Elizabeth Gobeil Appointed as Director of State Board of Workers’ Compensation
November 12, 2012
Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers, LLP, would like to introduce the Honorable Elizabeth D. Gobeil as the newest director at the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Judge Gobeil was appointed by Governor Deal on November 1, 2012, to replace the Honorable Warren Massey, whose term expired in January 2012. She will serve along with Chairman Richard Thompson and Judge Stephen Farrow. Judge Massey will continue to serve as an Administrative Law Judge with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Read More
McRae v. Arby's Decision Reversed
November 5, 2012
On November 5, 2012, the Supreme Court of Georgia unanimously reversed the Court of Appeals in Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., et al v. McCrae, S12G0714. On December 1, 2011 the Georgia Court of Appeals issued an opinion that placed significant restrictions on ex parte communications between employer’s counsel and the employee’s treating physician. On April 24, 2012, the Supreme Court granted the Petition for Certiorari in a 4 to 3 vote to consider whether the Court of Appeals properly interpreted O.C.G.A. § 34-9-207, and oral arguments took place on July 10, 2012.
Click here to view the decision. Read More
Georgia Supreme Court Updates Legal Analysis of Change in Condition vs New Accident
July 12, 2012

The Georgia appellate courts have been examining the definitions of new injury, fictional new injury, and change in condition for many years. The Georgia Supreme Court again analyzed the definitions and has offered some guidance on how to distinguish between a change in condition and a fictional new injury.

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Georgia Supreme Court Confirms Ability of Jury to Apportion Fault to Non-Party Criminal Assailant
July 9, 2012
Answering two certified questions from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the Georgia Supreme Court held that (1) in a premises liability action wherein a property owner is alleged to have negligently failed to prevent a foreseeable criminal attack, the jury can consider the “fault” of a non-party criminal assailant and apportion a percentage of fault to that criminal assailant and (2) a jury instruction or special verdict form requiring a jury to apportion any award of damages among the property owner and the criminal assailant does not violate the plaintiff’s constitutional rights.
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Georgia Supreme Court Upholds One-Year Suit Limitation Provisions in Multi-Line Policies
June 26, 2012

On two certified questions from the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously held that a former Georgia Insurance Commissioner exceeded his legal authority when issuing a regulation requiring all property insurance policies to contain at least a two-year suit limitation provision. O.C.G.A. § 33-32-1(a) requires that all fire policies issued in Georgia conform to certain minimum standards as set forth in the Standard Fire Policy. The Commissioner is vested with authority to specify the terms of the Standard Fire Policy. For years, the Standard Fire Policy contained a one-year suit limitation provision. In 2006, the Commissioner changed the limitation period to two years in the Standard Fire policy. Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 120-2-10-.01. Simultaneously, the Commissioner issued a companion Regulation, 120-2-20-.02. This second regulation attempted to require that all lines of property insurance conform to the Standard Fire Policy by containing at least a two-year period suit limitation period.

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