Discovery. Fulton State Court. Before Judge Tailor.
Sanders Law Group, Julian L. Sanders, for appellant.
Dodson & Associates, Joseph D. Perrotta, for appellees.
Emma McClarty brought an action against Trigild Incorporated, among others, alleging that she was injured when a ceiling in a motel operated by Trigild collapsed on top of her. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Trigild, and the trial court entered judgment on that verdict. On appeal, McClarty asserts errors related to four of her requests for admission, request numbers 26, 29, 30 and 31 (set forth in full in Division 1, infra).
McClarty argues that the trial court erred in ruling that her request number 26 was improper. In that request, she asked Trigild to admit that the condition of the ceiling was hazardous. After Trigild responded by denying knowledge of any alleged hazardous condition, McClarty moved the trial court to determine the sufficiency of Trigild's response. Instead of doing so, the trial court held that McClarty's request was inappropriate. We agree with McClarty that this holding was error and, accordingly, we vacate the trial court's judgment and remand the case for the trial court to determine the sufficiency of Trigild's response to request number 26 and for other proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
McClarty argues that the trial court erred in allowing Trigild to amend its response to request number 29 from a denial to a qualified, rather than an unqualified, admission. In that request, she asked Trigild to admit that it did not warn her of the condition that led to the collapsed ceiling. Trigild initially responded by denying knowledge of any alleged hazardous condition. After McClarty moved the trial court to determine the sufficiency of this response, the trial court [333 Ga.App. 113] permitted Trigild to amend its response to admit that it did not warn McClarty of the condition but to state that it did not know of the condition. We find that the trial court did not abuse his discretion in this ruling.
Finally, McClarty argues that Trigild improperly presented evidence at trial that contradicted its admissions to request numbers 29, 30 and 31, in which Trigild admitted that it did not warn McClarty of the condition and that, had it known of the condition, it would have had certain obligations toward McClarty and others. We find no error, because the evidence to which McClarty points does not contradict those admissions; rather, it concerned whether McClarty was hit in the head with drywall when the ceiling collapsed.
Because we find no merit in McClarty's arguments concerning request numbers 29, 30 or 31, those claims of error pose no bar to the trial court reentering the judgment if
such action otherwise would be appropriate after the trial court rules on the sufficiency of the first request.
1. Procedural posture.
Pursuant to OCGA § 9-11-36, McClarty propounded several requests for admission upon Trigild, to which Trigild responded. The requests and ...