Update in Georgia Liability Case in Today's FPC Daily 2A Legal Update
In today's FPC legal update, we have an update from a Liability case that FPC filed a brief in earlier this year.
McBrayer v. Governors Ridge
Court: Georgia State Court
In this lawsuit, the Governors Ridge Property Owners Association argued that an OB-GYN clinic was a nuisance due to the anti-abortion protestors who regularly gathered outside the office. A jury agreed—even though the medical clinic was lawfully operated and properly licensed—and found the owner and operators liable for over $1.5 million in damages. The Georgia Court of Appeals reversed the decision, however, saying that "property ownership in Georgia does not guarantee only ideologically-aligned neighbors whose business practices will cause no upset or attract no controversy, and we will not hold otherwise." The court noted its appreciation for the amicus brief filed by FPC, various law professes, and the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, which argued that “under the lower court’s reasoning, many controversial businesses and organizations—churches, synagogues, mosques, bookstores, gun stores, political party offices, and more—may face economic ruin and be forced to shut down because they are targeted by protesters or criminals (or are even just morally disapproved of by their neighbors, despite being completely legal)." The lawsuit will now go back to the trial court for a new trial. You can read more about the opinion at The Volokh Conspiracy here.