Law School Case Brief
Potts v. Fid. Fruit & Produce Co. - 165 Ga. App. 546, 301 S.E.2d 903 (1983)
In determining whether the violation of a statute or ordinance is negligence per se as to a particular person, it is necessary to examine the purposes of the legislation and decide (1) whether the injured person falls within the class of persons it was intended to protect and (2) whether the harm complained of was the harm it was intended to guard against.
The appellant sued to recover for personal injuries which he allegedly sustained when he was bitten by a spider while unloading bananas from a truck. The incident occurred during the course of his employment with Colonial Stores. The employee filed suit against the local distributor of the bananas, Fidelity Fruit and Produce Co., Inc., and the transporter, Refrigerated Transport Co., Inc. Liability was predicated both on negligence per se under the Georgia Food Act. The Court granted summary judgment in favor of Fidelity Fruit and Produce Co., Inc. based on a determination that the employee was not among the class of persons whom the Georgia Food Act was designed to protect. The employee appealed.
Was the employee protected under the Georgia Food Act?
Because the appellant's alleged injuries did not arise incident to his consumption of the bananas, the Court held that the trial court was correct in concluding that the Georgia Food Act afforded him no basis for recovery. Having examined the provisions of the Georgia Food Act, the Court agreed with the following analysis made by the trial court: "Clearly, the Act is a consumer protection act, designed not to render the workplace a safer environment, but to prevent the sale and distribution of adulterated or misbranded foods to consumers. While safety in the workplace, and compensation for injuries arising out of work activities, are indeed matters of contemporary concern, they are the subject of other legislative enactments on both the state and federal level."
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