Atlanta, GA—A plastic surgeon who needed surgery himself after fracturing his hip in a fall at a midtown Atlanta condominium complex did not get any relief in court after a Fulton County State Court jury found in favor of the condo association and property manager in the physician’s premises liability lawsuit. Anthony Erian v. The Atlantic Master Condominium Association, Inc. and FirstService Residential Georgia, Inc. (13EV0166333)
The plaintiff in the case, Dr. Anthony Erian, is a world renowned British plastic surgeon. He is currently the president of the International Board of Cosmetic Surgery and the European Society of Aesthetic Surgery. On June 1, 2012, Dr. Erian was visiting friends who lived in Atlanta at the Atlantic, a 44-story condominium complex located at Atlantic Station in Midtown. Among the amenities at the complex was a theater room designed for small group motion picture and television viewing.
While he was at the condominium complex, Dr. Erian visited the theater room to take some photographs. The room was dark at the time, and Dr. Erian fell and fractured his hip. He filed the current lawsuit against the condo association and its management company, alleging that the defendants failed to safely maintain the premises and issue appropriate warnings. In addition to his medical expenses and general damages for pain and suffering, Dr. Erian sought to recover extensive lost earnings from his surgical practice and various speaking engagements that he missed during his convalescence.
According to documents filed in the case and other information, the theater room consisted of two rows of lounge chairs. The back row of chairs was on a raised dark wooden platform two steps above the lower level. There was an approximately one-foot wide gap between the back of the front row of chairs and the platform on which the rear row was located. The photograph accompanying this article is a stock photograph for illustrative purposes only and is not a photograph of the actual theater room in the case or intended as an accurate reproduction.
The lighting in the theater room was controlled by wall switches that allowed people to select the degree of overhead illumination in the room. At the time the accident occurred, there were no overhead lights on in the room. In addition, the room had two room lamps that also were not on when the accident occurred.
Dr. Erian stated before the trial that he was standing on the raised platform in the theater room to prepare to take some photographs. He contended that he was unaware of the gap because the room was dark and then accidentally stepped in the gap, causing him to stumble and fall. In addition, he noted that there were no warning signs in the room indicating any possible dangerous condition.
The condo association produced a low quality security camera video of the theater room. The defense’s contention, as supported by an affidavit of an accident reconstruction specialist who viewed the video, was that Dr. Erian could not have stepped in the gap as he claimed. Instead, the defense believed that Dr. Erian stepped backward without looking and stumbled. The defense also noted that Dr. Erian was the only person who had ever fallen in the theater room and that it had never received any complaints about the lighting or the safety of the room.
Representatives of the parties declined to comment on the case.
CVN will have gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial online as soon as it is available. Steve Silver can be reached at [email protected].
Attorneys involved in the case include Forrest Johnson of Atlanta's Forrest Johnson & Associates for Dr. Anthony Erian and Ian Rapaport of Atlanta for the defense.
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