2020 Update On The Ante Litem Notice: A Potential Legal Pitfall for Injury Claims Against A City
In a March 2020 opinion, the Georgia Court of Appeals clarified for attorneys with injury claims against Georgia municipalities what is required in the ante litem notice that has to be received by the city within the 6 month period after the date of injury in order to preserve injury victim’s claims against a city. Unlike a personal injury claim against a private company or individual, a claim against a city has to be properly preserved with an ante litem notice that meets statutory requirements being sent by the injured party or their attorney to the at fault city. If it is not received by the appropriate officials at the city within 6 months of the injury date, the claim is extinguished. In City of Lafayette v. Chandler, the Court of Appeals found the following language of the ante litem notice compliant with the statutory requirements:
“As mentioned above, Mr. Chandler suffered very serious injuries as a result of the negligent acts described above. His injuries include a broken femur, at least seven (7) broken ribs and various internal injuries which required surgical intervention. In further description of the nature and extent of Mr. Chandler’s injuries, he was required to spend approximately three weeks at Erlanger and inpatient rehabilitation immediately following the subject incident and incurred well over $100,000.00 in medical expenses to date. As a result of the nature and extent of Mr. Chandler’s injuries and the aforementioned special medical damages we will seek to recover $1,000,000.00 (one million dollars) in monetary damages on his behalf.”City of Lafayette v. Chandler (Ga. App. 2020)
With its decision in Chandler, the Court of Appeals has made it clearer for attorneys representing persons injured as a result of the acts or omissions of a city to know what is required in the ante litem notice. Please contact Rumsey & Ramsey, a Dunwoody, Georgia law firm, at (770) 394-9400 to discuss your personal injury claim with an attorney.