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Supreme Court of Georgia
March 6, 2017, Decided
[*722] [**829] Nahmias, Justice.
Amanda Rae Coon lives in Alabama but received treatment from a hospital owned by The Medical Center, Inc. in Georgia. After the hospital mishandled the remains of her stillborn baby, Coon filed this lawsuit. Among other claims, she sought to recover damages for the negligent infliction of emotional distress. The trial court ultimately entered an order granting summary judgment to the hospital. The court applied Georgia's common-law “physical impact rule” to reject Coon's negligent infliction of emotional distress claim, rather than applying case law from the Alabama courts that allows such claims based on the mishandling of human remains. Coon appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed, although the seven judges disagreed about the choice-of-law analysis. See Coon v. The Medical Center, Inc., 335 Ga. App. 278 (780 SE2d 118) (2015).
We granted Coon's petition for certiorari primarily to review the Court of Appeals' analysis of the choice-of-law issue. The principal opinion of that court held that Georgia law governs Coon's claims based on the public policy exception to the rule of lex loci delicti for choosing which state's law applies to a tort claim. See Coon, 335 Ga. App. at 282-283 [***2] . In dissent, Presiding Judge Barnes disagreed about the application of that exception. See id. at 288-291. We conclude that Judge McMillian's special concurrence identified the choice-of-law [*723] rule that actually applies in this context: GA(1)(1) ] where a claim in a Georgia lawsuit is governed by the common law, and the common law is also in force in the other state, as it is in Alabama, the common law as determined by Georgia's courts will control. See id. at 286-287. Because the Court of Appeals reached the right result, we affirm its judgment.
1. (a) The pertinent facts — when the evidence in the record is viewed in the light most favorable to Coon as the party opposing summary judgment — and the procedural history of the case in the trial court are recounted [**830] in the Court of Appeals' principal opinion as follows:
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
300 Ga. 722 *; 797 S.E.2d 828 **; 2017 Ga. LEXIS 170 ***; 2017 WL 875036
COON v. THE MEDICAL CENTER, INC.
Prior History: Certiorari to the Court of Appeals of Georgia — 335 Ga. App. 278.
Coon v. Medical Ctr., Inc., 335 Ga. App. 278, 780 S.E.2d 118, 2015 Ga. App. LEXIS 728 (2015)
Disposition: Judgment affirmed.
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Governments, Courts, Common Law, Judicial Comity, Legislation, Interpretation, Judicial Precedent, Dicta, Judicial Precedent, Civil Procedure, Preliminary Considerations, Federal & State Interrelationships, Choice of Law, Torts, Procedural Matters, Conflict of Law, Types of Negligence Actions, Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress, Elements