P. J., COOMER and MARKLE, JJ.
George Hill was shot by a stray bullet as he shopped at the
MM Gas & Food Mart ("MM Gas"), he filed suit
against MM Gas and several of its employees, alleging
negligence and premises liability. The trial court granted
summary judgment to MM Gas, and Hill now appeals, arguing
that there were genuine issues of fact regarding MM Gas's
duty to protect customers from a foreseeable risk. After a
thorough review of the record, and for the reasons that
follow, we affirm.
review the grant of a motion for summary judgment de novo,
viewing the evidence, and making all reasonable inferences,
in the light most favorable to the nonmovant. Cowart v.
Widener, 287 Ga. 622, 624 (1) (a) (697 S.E.2d 779)
viewed, the record shows that in October 2013, Hill and his
friend Laverbon Hightower went to MM Gas to purchase lottery
tickets. Hightower lived near the store, and Hill picked him
up at his house and drove to the store. Although Hill was not
aware of any prior incidents of criminal activity in the
area, Hightower knew there was drug and other illegal
two men waited at the counter to buy their tickets, they
heard gunshots and the sound of breaking glass. Hill felt a
burning sensation on his head, fell to the floor, and
discovered he was bleeding. There was a bullet hole in the
door near where the men had been standing. The men then
finished purchasing their lottery tickets and left the store.
Neither man had noticed anything suspicious as they entered
the store, nor did they see the shooter.
drove Hightower home and then sought treatment at the
hospital, where doctors cleaned and dressed his head wound
and released him. Hill did not require any pain medication or
any further treatment.
investigator with the Macon police department found shell
casings in the parking lot across the street from MM Gas. He
determined that the shooter fired from that site. According
to a police department report of other criminal activity in
the area, there were three prior instances involving weapons:
on September 1, 2013, someone discharged a firearm inside MM
Gas; on September 9, 2013, someone with a gun inside the
store stated that he planned to shoot rival gang members; and
on October 7, 2013, an individual pointed a gun at someone
inside the store. A private investigator Hill hired concluded
that the cashier's counter inside the store
"appeared" to be protected by bulletproof glass and
that after Hill's shooting, someone tried to install
bulletproof glass on the front windows.
sued MM Gas and ten John Doe employees,  alleging that
they were negligent because the risk that a customer could be
shot on the property was foreseeable, and MM Gas failed to
undertake any action to protect its customers. Hill also brought
claims against MM Gas for vicarious liability and negligent
hiring and retention.
moved for summary judgment, arguing that it had no legal duty
to protect Hill in this case because it had no control over
the premises from which the bullet was fired, it did not have
superior knowledge of any risk, and even if it had breached a
duty to Hill, there was no evidence that the failure to
provide additional security measures was the cause of
filed a response to the motion for summary judgment in which
he asserted that there remained genuine issues of material
fact. He later supplemented his response,  arguing that MM
Gas breached its duty because there had been numerous other
instances of gun violence on the property in the months
leading up to his incident, which made the risk foreseeable,
and MM Gas failed to take any measures to protect its
a hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment to MM
Gas, finding that MM Gas was not liable for Hill's
injuries because the danger was not foreseeable.
Specifically, the trial court concluded that the prior
instances of gunfire were not sufficiently similar such that
MM Gas would have superior knowledge of a risk to its
customers, and that Hill presented no evidence to show what
MM Gas should have done to protect its customers. Hill now
appeal, Hill argues that summary judgment was improper
because there are factual issues regarding whether MM
Gas's constructive knowledge of the prior instances of
gun violence made the risk foreseeable and ...