Walker v. Tensor Machinery Ltd.Annotate this Case
Before the Georgia Supreme Court issued its decision in "Zaldivar v. Prickett," (774 SE2d 688 (2015)), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia certified a question of Georgia law that was effectively answered later by that case. "Zaldivar" directed the trier of fact in certain cases to “consider the fault of all persons or entities who contributed to the alleged injury or damages." The federal district court posed this question: "[d]oes OCGA 51-12-33 (c) allow the jury to assess a percentage of fault to the non-party employer of a plaintiff who sues a product manufacturer and seller for negligence in failing to warn about a product danger, even though the non-party employer has immunity under OCGA 34-9-11?" The Georgia Supreme Court replied that unless there was a compelling reason to treat nonparty employers with immunity under the Workers’ Compensation Act differently than nonparties with other defenses or immunities against liability,"Zaldivar" required an affirmative answer to the certified question. "We see no such compelling reason, and so, we adhere to Zaldivar and respond to the District Court in the affirmative."