Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Smith v. Camarena

Court of Appeals of Georgia, Fifth Division

October 30, 2019

SMITH et al.
v.
CAMARENA et al.

          MCFADDEN, C. J., MCMILLIAN, P. J., and SENIOR APPELLATE JUDGE PHIPPS

          McFadden, Chief Judge.

         Fabiola Zavaleta-Ramirez was shot and killed in the parking lot outside a grocery store where she was employed. This appeal concerns tort claims asserted by her mother and by the administrator of her estate against the store and several persons who owned or managed it. Those defendants moved for summary judgment on the sole ground that the tort claims concerned an injury that was compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act ("the Act") and so were barred by the Act's exclusive remedy provision. The trial court granted summary judgment on that ground, and the plaintiffs appealed. We find that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether Zavaleta-Ramirez's death was a compensable injury under the Act. So we reverse.

         1. Facts.

         "On appeal from an order granting or denying summary judgment, we conduct a de novo review, construing the evidence and all reasonable conclusions and inferences drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmovant." State Farm Automobile Mut. Ins. Co. v. Todd, 309 Ga.App. 213, 213-214 (1) (709 S.E.2d 565) (2011) (citation and punctuation omitted).

         So viewed, the record shows that on the evening of February 7, 2015, as the grocery store was closing, Zavaleta-Ramirez clocked out and left the store. She remained in the parking lot talking with a co-worker, Martha Illan, about matters unrelated to work. Illan sat in a parked car with her husband; Zavaleta-Ramirez was standing in the parking lot.

         That parking lot was owned and controlled by the store's landlord. It was open to the public, and served several businesses in the same shopping center.

         As the women were talking, another car approached. Two men got out. One of them, wearing a mask, pointed a gun at Zavaleta-Ramirez, Illan, and Illan's husband and demanded their purses and wallet.

         Meanwhile defendant Ricardo Maldonado-Peña, an assistant manager, had locked the store and gotten into a van with his wife. As she began to drive out of the parking lot, he spotted the robbery in progress. He told her to stop the van, got out, and yelled at the robbers to stop.

         One of the robbers turned and fired at Maldonado-Peña, striking the van. Maldonado-Peña, who was armed, returned fire. There were more shots, and Maldonado-Peña took cover behind the open door of the van. The robbers jumped back into their car and fled.

         Zavaleta-Ramirez was shot during the exchange of gunfire.

         2. Evidence that the store did not own, maintain, or control the parking lot precludes the grant of summary judgment pursuant to the exclusive remedy provision of the Workers' Compensation Act.

         The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants against the plaintiffs' tort claims on the ground that the claims are barred by the exclusive remedy provision of the Workers' Compensation Act, which pertinently provides that

[t]he rights and the remedies granted to an employee by [the Act] shall exclude and be in place of all other rights and remedies of such employee, his or her personal representative, parents, dependents, or next of kin, and all other civil liabilities whatsoever at common law or ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.