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Richardson v. Hennly

Supreme Court of Georgia
434 S.E.2d 772 (1993)


Facts

Bonnie Richardson (plaintiff) and J.R. Hennly, Jr. (defendant), were coworkers at a savings and loan association. Richardson’s desk was approximately 30 feet from Hennly’s office. Hennly consistently smoked a pipe during working hours. The pipe smoke caused Richardson to suffer an allergic reaction, nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, and other physical symptoms resulting in her hospitalization on two occasions. Hennly had full knowledge of Richardson’s adverse reactions to the pipe smoke but did not stop his smoking. Shortly after Richardson’s second hospitalization, she was fired for excessive absenteeism. Richardson filed suit against her former employer and Hennly alleging battery. Specifically, Richardson alleged that Hennly intentionally and deliberately directed his pipe smoke at Richardson in order to injure her or, in the alternative, with conscious disregard of the knowledge that the pipe smoke would cause Richardson to suffer serious adverse reactions. Hennly filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Richardson’s claim did not meet the required elements for battery. The trial court granted Hennly’s motion, and Richardson appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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