FIRST COMMUNITIES MANAGEMENT, INC.
MCFADDEN, C. J., MCMILLIAN, P. J., and SENIOR APPELLATE JUDGE
MCFADDEN, CHIEF JUDGE
defendant in this slip-and-fall case contests the denial of
its motion for summary judgment. Because there is no evidence
of a hazardous condition on the premises in question, we
Facts and procedural posture.
appeal from the grant or denial of a motion for summary
judgment, we construe the evidence in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Lakeshore Contracting
v. Lopez-Hernandez, 351 Ga.App. 232 (830 S.E.2d 561)
(2019). So construed, the evidence shows that Karyn Holmes
lived in an apartment complex in Smyrna, Georgia. On October
23, 2015, Holmes and her daughter took the daughter's car
to a car cleaning area in the complex to vacuum out the car.
Holmes got out of the car and stepped from the paved parking
lot up to a landscaped area with embedded rocks surrounding
the vacuum. Holmes reached for the vacuum, fell backwards,
and was injured.
October 19, 2017, Holmes filed a negligence action against
First Communities Management, Inc., alleging that she had
slipped on a foreign substance. Holmes was deposed, and
during questioning by defense counsel she testified that she
did not know what caused her to fall.
Q: Do you know what caused you to fall backwards?
A: No, I don't. . . .
Q: You're not sure what caused your foot to slip?
A: No, I'm not. . . .
Q: Is that your testimony, Ms. Holmes, that you don't
know what caused you to fall?
A: That's correct.
Holmes' own attorney later asked her opinion about why
she fell, Holmes responded: "The rocks were real
slippery. It wasn't the rough kind of rocks. . . . The
rocks [were] just smooth, not rocky[.]" Holmes further
testified that there was no water on the rocks and that she
did not encounter any type of liquid or hazardous condition
on the ground.
Communities moved for summary judgment, asserting, among
other things, that there was no evidence of any hazardous
condition. The trial court denied the motion, finding that
there was evidence from which a jury could find that the
rocks had been "made slippery by water from the car wash
facility." The trial court issued a certificate of
immediate review, and ...