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State Court of Fulton County

**E-FILED**
16EV005847
12/20/2016 2:53:01 PM
LeNora Ponzo, Clerk
Civil Division

IN THE STATE COURT OF FULTON COUNTY


STATE OF GEORGIA

NAVIE DAVIS-THOMAS,

Plaintiff,

CNIL ACTION FILE

v.

NO.

)
)
)
)
)

OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY,


and JOHN DOES I through 3,
Defendants.

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES


(Renewal Complaint)

COMES NOW NAVIE DAVIS-THOMAS, Plaintiff in the above-styled action and


hereby files this Complaint and shows the Court the following:

Jurisdiction and Venue


1.

OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY, (hereinafter, "Defendffit"), is a foreign profit corporation


organized under the laws of the State of Connecticut, doing business in Fulton County, and can be
served

with process upon its registered agent for service, C.T. Corporation System, 1201 Peachtree

Street, N.E., Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia

30361. Once served, Defendant Otis Elevator is

subject to the jurisdiction of this Court and venue

will

be proper as to Defendant.

2.

Defendants John Does I through 3 are unknown individuals or entities believed by

Plaintiff to have materially participated in the actions alleged herein, specifically,

as the agents,

employees, or independent contractors who may have installed, repaired, maintained, or


otherwise exercised some effect on the instrumentality in question.
3.

Venue is proper in this County and Court pursuant to Ga. Const. Art. VI, S 2, par. 4, and

O.C.G.A. $ 14-2-510(b). Venue against any John Does is proper in this County and Court
pursuant to the provisions of Ga. Const. Art. VI, $ 2, par. 4, Quintonv. American Thread Co.,74

Ga.App. 436,40 S.E.2d 95 (1946), which provides that an action against joint tortfeasors
residing in different counties may be tried in either county.
4.

At all times material and relevant herein, Defendant maintained, serviced, and operated
elevators in the building at 80 Jesse Hill Drive S.W., Atlanta, GA 30303.
5.

At all times material and relevant herein, Defendant owed Plaintiff

a duty

of care.

Renewal of Action
6.

On July 10,2015, suit was brought by Plaintiff against Defendant, in the State Court

of

Fulton County, Civil Action File No. 15EV001823.


7.

Defendant's Registered Agent for service of process was personally served with process on

July 14, 2015.


8.

Defendant's Answer was filed on or about August 23,2015.


9.

On July 12,2016, Plaintiff filed the dismissal of the lawsuit without prejudice.
10.

After filing the dismissal without prejudice, Plaintiff


pursuant to O.C.G.A. $$

is

HEREBY RENEV/ING her complaint

9-1lal@) and 9-2-61(a). Plaintiff shows this court that the previous

action against Defendant was not a void action. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed said action without

prejudice. Said dismissal was procedural and not a dismissal based upon the merits of the case. All

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court costs on the prior action have been paid. As such, said dismissal is not

a bar

to their renewed

action. All preconditions to renewing her suit have been met.


Factual Allegations

ll.
Plaintiff incorporates Paragraphs I through l0 of this Complaint as fully set forth herein.
12.
On or about July 12,2013, PlaintiffNavie Davis-Thomas worked inside the building located

at 80 Jesse Hill Drive S.'W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

73.

Approximately 12:30 p.m., on or about July 12,2013, Plaintiff entered the GP-l8 elevator
car on the l lth floor, intending to take the elevator down to the second floor.

14.

Plaintiff was the only person in the elevator at the time.


15.

As the elevator car strted its descent, it went in to a downward free-fall for at least nine
floors.
16.
The elevator car then came to an abrupt stop, causing the Plaintiff to be thrown to the floor,

landing on her buttocks.


17.

Plaintiff had worked in the building for almost three years, so she had used the elevator
many times, and was unaware of the presence of any danger or even the possibility that the

elevator would make a sudden drop of nine floors.


18.

When the elevator car stopped, it was stuck between floors, so Plaintiff was unable to exit.

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19.

After the elevator car stopped, Plaintiff repeatedly pressed the elevator alarm button, with
no response for at least 15 minutes.

20.
Plaintiff was trapped in the elevator for 35 to 40 minutes, until Robert Cook, an elevator
technician employed by Defendant, arrived on the premises to reset the computer and lower the
elevator car to the second floor.

2t.
Plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress from the experience of a free-fall while in the
elevator, and subsequently being trapped inside the elevator.
22.

As a result of the fall, Plaintiff suffered injuries to her tail bone, lower back, and legs.
23.

As

result ofthis accident, Plaintiffwas unable to work and has sustained medical expenses,

pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.


24.

As

result of Plaintifls injuries, she has suffered physical impairment, mental and physical

pain and suffering, and substantial personal inconvenience and difficulties in performing her ordinary

activities of living.
25.
These personal injuries have permanent effects, and in the future

Plaintiffwill suffer medical

and other necessary expenses, ongoing personal inconvenience and difficulties with the ordinary
demand and activities of living, as well as continuing mental and physical pain and suffering.

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COUNT

NEGLIGENCE OF DEFENDANT OTIS ELEVATOR


26.

Plaintiff realleges and incorporates by reference the allegations of Paragraphs 1 through 25


as

fully

set forth herein.

27.
The elevator was inspected and maintained by Defendant.

28.
Defendant was contractually responsible for the proper and safe inspection and maintenance

of the elevator.
29.

Defendant was under a duty to maintain said elevator with extreme care and caution in
compliance with applicable building and safety codes so as to provide a safe and non-hazardous

facility for patrons.


30.

Defendant breached its duty to maintain said elevator with extreme care and caution in
compliance with applicable building and safety codes so as to provide a safe and non-hazardous

facility for patrons.


31.

Defendant was negligent in that it failed to properly maintain said elevator with extreme care
and caution in compliance with applicable building and safety codes so as to provide a safe and
non-hazardous facility for patrons.
32.

Defendant was negligent in that is failed to properly inspect and maintain the elevator so as
to prevent ahazardous and unsafe condition that would cause the elevator car to free fall for nine

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floors.
33.
As the direct and proximate result ofDefendant's violation of its duties, Plaintiffwas injured,

and continues to have physical and emotional pain and suffering.

DAMAGES
34.

Plaintiff incorporates Paragraphs I through 33 of this Complaint as fully set forth herein.
35.

As

direct and proximate result of the Defendant's acts, omissions and negligence, Plaintiff

has sustained personal injuries and mental, emotional, and physical pain and suffering and lost wages

for which Plaintiff is entitled to be compensated.


36.
As the sole, direct, and proximate result ofthe Defendant's violation ofthese duties, Plaintiff
has been and

will continue

to be in great physical, mental, and emotional pain and distress, such that

she is entitled to recover reasonable damages as determined by the trier of fact.


37.

As a direct and proximate result of Defendant's acts, omissions, and negligence, Plaintiffhas

incurred and will incur past, present and future medical expenses.

PT]NITIVE DAMAGES
38.

Plaintiff incorporates Paragraphs 1 through 37 of this Complaint

as

fully set forth herein.

39.
Defendant, by and through its repeated failures to maintain, inspect, and repair the elevator

whentheyhadknowledge that saidelevatorwas malfunctioning, showedwillfulmisconduct, malice,

and an entire want of care, which constitutes a conscious indifference to the consequences.

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Therefore, Plaintiff is entitled to recover pursuant to O.C.G.A. $ 51-12-5 .1, an award of punitive
damages to punish, penalize,and deter Defendant, and others similarly situated, from repeating such
trespasses.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays as follows:


(a) that process and summons be issued and Defendant be served according to law;

(b) that all claims be tried by a jury;

(c) that judgment be rendered for Plaintiff against Defendant in a reasonable amount as
compensation for the bodily injuries, pain, suffering, loss of wages, and medical expenses
caused by the Defendants and their agents;

(d) that Plaintiff be awarded all costs in this action, including attorneys'fees; and
(e) that Plaintiff be granted such other further relief as this Court may deem just and proper.

Respectfully submitted,

this

day of December, 2016.

Tressa S. McCray

Georgia Bar # 486798

Thomas A. Bennett
Georgia Bar # 219206
Attorneys for Plaintiff

THE LAW OFFICE OF


TRESSA S. McCRAY, P.C.
Suite 490 - Heritage Place
4500 Hugh Howell Road
Tucker, Georgia 30084
Phone (770) 493-1265
Fax (770) 493-1266

email

at:

tom@tsmpc.net

M:\Clients\Pl\Davis-Thomas, Navie (2013)\Complaint (Renewal)_Davis-Thomas v Otis ElevaIotJ0l6-12-20 fin.wpd

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