MCFADDEN, P. J., BRANCH and BETHEL, JJ.
McFadden, Presiding Judge.
Jones was injured while he was a passenger in an elevator at
the Medical Center of Central Georgia, Inc. Jones sued the
Medical Center and its elevator maintenance contractor,
ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation, for his injuries. The
trial court granted the Medical Center's motion for
summary judgment and Jones filed this appeal.
argues that the trial court erred by granting summary
judgment because the material facts are disputed. But Jones
has not shown that the Medical Center had superior knowledge
of any defect. Jones argues that the Medical Center is
vicariously liable for any negligence on the part of
ThyssenKrupp, but he has not pointed to evidence of any such
negligence. Finally, Jones argues that the trial court should
have applied the rebuttable presumption of a defect that
arises for violations of OCGA § 8-2-106, which requires
reports of elevator accidents, but he has not shown trial
court error. So we affirm.
court properly grants summary judgment when
there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. We review a grant of
summary judgment de novo, and we view the evidence and all
reasonable inferences drawn from it in the light most
favorable to the nonmovant. A defendant seeking summary
judgment need only show an absence of evidence to support an
essential element of the plaintiff's case to prevail.
Brady v. Elevator Specialists, 287 Ga.App. 304 (653
S.E.2d 59) (2007) (citations and punctuation omitted).
viewed, the evidence shows that Jones went to the Medical
Center to pick up his wife and his daughter, who had had
surgery the day before. His daughter was in a room on the
seventh floor. Jones entered the Medical Center and walked to
the main bank of elevators. He and another man entered
elevator number three. Jones pushed the button for the
seventh floor and the other man pushed the button for the
eighth floor. The elevator rose to the third or fourth floor
then fell downward, crashing into something solid. Jones was
able to grab a handrail, which kept him from falling to the
floor of the elevator.
other passenger tried to open the door and then pressed the
emergency button. The person who came to their assistance
told them from outside the elevator that the car was
one-and-a-half feet below floor level and that he needed to
get someone to help him move it. About 20 minutes later,
Jones felt more jolting. People outside the elevator said
they could not open the doors and they needed to get more
help. Five minutes later, the doors opened; the elevator was
on the ninth floor and the car was level with the floor.
Jones injured his feet, legs, knees, and neck in the
Singletary, the assistant director of facilities management
at the Medical Center, called and emailed the state Office of
Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner to report the
incident. On July 31, 2013, technicians with ThyssenKrupp,
the Medical Center's elevator maintenance contractor, met
the state inspectors at the Medical Center to investigate the
cause of the incident. The state inspectors and ThyssenKrupp
technicians tried to recreate the incident conditions for
three and a half hours on July 31. The elevator ran normally
the entire time. Because they were unable to find anything
wrong with the elevator and could not recreate the conditions
of malfunction, the inspectors concluded that the cause of
the incident was unknown. After the inspection on July 31,
2013, the state inspectors returned the elevator to service.
Medical Center, which owns the elevator, purchased the
highest level of service plan available from ThyssenKrupp.
According to the maintenance agreement, ThyssenKrupp's
maintenance program "meets or exceeds any and all
requirements of ASME A 17.1-2007 Code, Section 8.6" and
its testing program complies with the testing requirements of
the American National Safety Code for Elevators and
Escalators, ANSI A 17.1, or the governing authority's
requirements, if different.
accordance with the maintenance agreement, ThyssenKrupp
performed five-year, annual, and monthly safety tests and
regular preventative maintenance on the Medical Center's
elevators, including examination, lubrication, and adjustment
of the car and hoistway door operating devices and door
protection equipment. A ThyssenKrupp mechanic is physically
present at the hospital 40 hours per week.
Medical Center performs its own monthly inspections of its
elevators. These inspections involve an experienced mechanic
riding every elevator at the Medical Center and stopping at
every floor to check for ...