Purvis v. Holiday Hills Property Owners Ass'n, Inc.

Decision Date08 September 1982
Docket NumberNo. 64249,64249
Citation294 S.E.2d 592,163 Ga.App. 387
CourtGeorgia Court of Appeals

Robert E. Bergman, Warner Robins, for appellants.

John C. Edwards, Macon, for appellee.


Summary Judgment. James and Martha Purvis are husband and wife. They have resided in the Holiday Hills residential development since 1970. The Purvises have been members of the Holiday Hills Property Owners Association, Inc. since moving into the development. Mrs. Purvis regularly utilized the recreational facilities of the development and during the summer season used a small and a large swimming pool. Usually the large pool was open only on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) and Mrs. Purvis used the small pool on other occasions. Though her frequency of use varied from week to week, Mrs. Purvis estimated that she used the pools several times a week, as much as three days a week. In order to reach the small pool, Mrs. Purvis would park her car in an adjacent parking area, walk up a gravel path to a set of concrete steps and thence up to the steps to the pool at the crest of a small hill. Mrs. Purvis had observed over the several years during which she had used the pool that water splashed from the pool, escaped from the pool deck over the edge and trickled down the bank.

On August 12, 1979, using the pool and steps leading thereto as she had for numerous years, Mrs. Purvis joined some friends at the small pool about 4:00 p.m. She walked up the path and ascended the steps using the right side of the steps to ascend. She left the pool area about 6:00 p.m. She descended the center part of the steps. At the time she was carrying her purse and a folded lawn chair. As Mrs. Purvis stepped off the bottom step, her foot made contact with the ground, and the next thing she knew, she had reached a sitting position facing the steps. She was not aware of any seepage of water or of any other substance at the foot of the steps that would have caused her to fall. Her contention was that because of water flow, the dirt path at the foot of the steps had eroded so that the distance between the higher steps was less than the distance between the bottom step and the ground. This differing distance caused by erosion was what caused her to lose her balance or footing and resulted in a rather serious fracture of her ankle and caused her much pain and permanent partial disability. Mrs. Purvis based her complaint on this injury, and Mr. Purvis joined in the suit claiming loss of consortium.

At a deposition, Mrs. Purvis admitted that at the time of her injury she had not noticed anything different in the ground level or in the condition of the steps or bank than she observed during the past years of her use of the pool. She did not specifically observe a washed-out area nor that the center of the bottom step was higher above the path level than the right side of the steps. In fact she did not notice any washed-out area until she visited the accident scene with her attorney some six months later. She further conceded that she did not know when any erosion occurred. Mrs. Purvis also admitted that she did not know what caused the ground...

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10 cases
  • Oliver v. Complements, Ltd.
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • January 24, 1989
    ...179 Ga.App. 242, 243, 345 S.E.2d 919; Bell v. Abercorn Toyota, 175 Ga.App. 668, 669, 333 S.E.2d 880; Purvis v. Holiday Hills, etc., Assn., 163 Ga.App. 387, 388, 294 S.E.2d 592. "By voluntarily acting in view of that knowledge, the [tenant] assumes the risk and dangers incident to the known ......
  • Pennington v. Cecil N. Brown Co., Inc., 76136
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • June 8, 1988
    ...338 S.E.2d 297 (1985); Anderson v. Dunwoody North, etc., Club, 176 Ga.App. 210, 335 S.E.2d 451 (1985); Purvis v. Holiday Hills, etc., Assn., 163 Ga.App. 387, 294 S.E.2d 592 (1982). Accordingly, the decisions in Auerbach, supra, and in McIntyre, supra, are factually distinguishable and are, ......
  • Coates v. Mulji Motor Inn, Inc., 70948
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • February 18, 1986
    ...to the known condition." Inglett v. Winn-Dixie, 168 Ga.App. 192, 194, 308 S.E.2d 587 (1983); Purvis v. Holiday Hills Property Owners Assn., 163 Ga.App. 387, 388-389, 294 S.E.2d 592 (1982). It is thus a question of "equal The "knowledge" relates not only to the physical facts, but also to kn......
  • Shackelford v. DeKalb Farmer's Market, Inc.
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • September 18, 1986
    ... ... 210, 335 S.E.2d 451 (1985); Purvis v. Holiday Hills, etc., Assoc., 163 Ga.App. 387, ... with vehicular traffic on the property may be a significant "distraction" for a ... ...
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