This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Duty to Warn and the related topic of personal injury.For more information on duty to warn issues see the pages on Wikipedia.
2015—Brown v. Jacobs, 768 S.E.2d 421.
Wrongful death action where process server is killed by husband who is being served with suit papers in divorce action. The attorney who hired the process server did not warn the process server that the husband was armed. Trial court properly granted Demurrer due to absence of duty to warn in this context.
1998 A.H. v. Rockingham Publishing Co., 255 Va. 216, 495 S.E.2d 482.
Thirteen-year-old newspaper boy was sexually assaulted by unidentified young man. There had been three previous assaults of a sexual nature upon other carriers for this newspaper, none of which occurred on route of A.H. Rockingham knew of these prior assaults. Before any duty can arise with regard to conduct of third persons there must be special relationship between defendant and either plaintiff or third person. Such special relationship exists in the context of employer-employee with regard to employer’s potential duty of protecting or warning employee. Supreme Court held that there was such special relationship in this instance. Rockingham, however, in this case had no duty to warn or protect A.H. against harm since danger of assault on plaintiff was not known and was not reasonably foreseeable. Three prior sexual assaults on Rockingham carriers in various locations in City of Harrisonburg in five years preceding this assault were insufficient to raise jury issue of whether sexual attack on plaintiff was reasonably foreseeable. Plaintiff further contended that Rockingham gave inadequate and deceptive warnings regarding risk of assault upon its young carriers. Rockingham’s actions did not give rise to duty to give more complete warning.
1992 Hiett v. Lake Barcroft Community Ass’n, 244 Va. 191, 481 S.E.2d 894.
Plaintiff injured in swimming event in lake. Defendant Novins had no ownership or controlling interest in lake nor was she an agent of the Association, therefore, no duty to warn.
1992 Besser Co. v. Hansen, 243 Va. 267, 415 S.E.2d 138.
Manufacturer in this products liability case had no duty to provide additional warning devices.
1992 Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. v. Watson, 243 Va. 128, 413 S.E.2d 630.
Manufacturer has duty to warn if it knows or has reason to know that its product is dangerous. Distinction made between words “reason to know” and “should know.” Manufacturer subject to liability when he (1) knows or has reason to know product is dangerous or is likely to be dangerous, (2) has no reason to believe that user will realize danger, and (3) fails to exercise reasonable care to inform user of dangerous condition. Instructions in this case improperly imposed duty on manufacturer to keep informed of scientific facts.
1992 Harris v. T.L, Inc., 243 Va. 63, 413 S.E.2d 605.
No post-sale duty to warn of change in industry standards by a successor corporation since successor corporation did not succeed to service contracts. There was no coverage of product by contract and there was no service of product by successor.
1983 City of Suffolk v. Hewitt, 226 Va. 20, 307 S.E.2d 444.
Owner is required to give notice or warning of unsafe condition known to him and unknown to his invitee unless dangerous condition is open and obvious to reasonable person exercising ordinary care.
1980 Pfizer, Inc. v. Jones, 221 Va. 681, 272 S.E.2d 43.
Drug manufacturer’s duty to warn does not include duty to provide information as to possible effects if misused.
1979 Featherall v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., 219 Va. 949, 252 S.E.2d 354.
Manufacturer of regulator for soft drink dispensing system held to have negligently failed to warn potential users of its product of danger of using regulator without locknut that could easily be unwittingly removed from instrument. Prima facie case established. No duty to warn if product is not dangerous or when product used in unlikely, unexpected, or unforeseeable manner.
1977 Roll “R” Way Rinks v. Smith, 218 Va. 321, 237 S.E.2d 157.
Having knowledge of defect and knowledge that it produced dangerous condition imposed duty to warn.
1975 Turner v. Manning, 216 Va. 245, 217 S.E.2d 863.
There is no duty to warn when evidence shows that product was reasonably safe for its intended purpose or for some other reasonably foreseeable purpose and that in fact product was being misused at time of accident.
1975 Indian Acres of Thornburg, Inc. v. Denion, 215 Va. 847, 213 S.E.2d 797.
Notice or warning by landowner is required of unsafe condition known to him and unknown to invitee unless such condition is open and obvious.
1974 Wynne v. Spainhour, 215 Va. 16, 205 S.E.2d 634.
No duty to warn of condition that is open and obvious.
1973 Butler v. Washington Refrig. Serv. Co., 213 Va. 461, 193 S.E.2d 781.
Plaintiff injured while sweeping under refrigerator compressor that had protective shield missing. Negligence not shown; judgment for defendant affirmed. No showing that defendant knew or should have known that shield was missing on date of plaintiff’s injury; not negligent for failure to “warn of a hazardous condition.”
1965 Southern States Grain Mktg. Coop. v. Garber, 205 Va. 757, 139 S.E.2d 793.
Plaintiff was business invitee instructed by defendant’s employee to hold cable on hoist. Plaintiff’s fingers caught between cable and pulley. Defendant owed plaintiff duty to warn of danger inherent in situation.
1964 Miracle Mart, Inc. v. Webb, 205 Va. 449, 137 S.E.2d 887.
Clerk leading plaintiff down aisle. Clerk had duty to warn of substance on floor.
1964 Shiflett v. Timberlake, Inc., 205 Va. 406, 137 S.E.2d 908.
Plaintiff fell on water tracked into store by customers. Defendant had duty to warn.
1961 Wright v. Kelly, 203 Va. 135, 122 S.E.2d 670.
Truck backed over decedent. Decedent’s mother hollered at defendant when she saw truck approaching decedent. Defendant failed to heed.
1961 Jones v. Bush, 202 Va. 752, 120 S.E.2d 382.
Plaintiff injured when rim on tire blew off. Duty to warn of unsafe condition depends on knowledge of condition. No showing that defendant had knowledge.
1954 Charles v. Commonwealth Motors, Inc., 195 Va. 576, 79 S.E.2d 594.
Plaintiff slipped and fell on slippery ramp. She was walking on rubber mat when called to by defendant’s agent. Thereupon she stepped off mat onto slippery part of ramp, fell, and sustained injury. Trial court improperly struck evidence that showed failure to warn of unknown slippery condition of ramp.
1953 McClanahan v. California Spray Corp., 194 Va. 842, 75 S.E.2d 712.
Person who knowingly sells or furnishes article, which by reason of defective construction or otherwise is imminently dangerous to life or property without notice of danger, is liable to third persons who suffer therefrom. Mere general warning may be insufficient, and insufficient warning is in effect no warning. Fact that directions are overlooked or are not meticulously followed does not relieve manufacturer of duty to warn of latent dangers. Manufacturer of economic poison may be liable even though directions are not followed, provided product has been used in accord with commonly recognized safe practice. Where there is duty to warn and defendant fails to do so there is no assumption of risk.
1953 Crocker v. WTAR, 194 Va. 572, 74 S.E.2d 51.
Jury issue presented as to whether defendant had duty to warn plaintiff of six-inch difference in level of highly polished floor.
1952 Bonich v. Waite, 194 Va. 374, 73 S.E.2d 389.
Wife of operator of stalled car owed duty to husband to warn him of what she considered impending danger.
1951 Trimyer v. Norfolk Tallow Co., 192 Va. 776, 66 S.E.2d 441.
Duty to warn exists only as to latent dangers and not to those that are or ought to be obvious to invitee.
1951 Sadler v. Lynch, 192 Va. 344, 64 S.E.2d 664.
Wrongful death action. Decedent had been warned of danger. Defendant need not explain exactly how danger might operate.
1950 Mann v. Clowser, 190 Va. 887, 59 S.E.2d 78.
Implied warranty of workmanship that arises when person holds himself out to be specifically qualified to perform specific work does not make builder guarantor of consequences of departures from plans. However, if consequences of departure are obvious to person of his trade, then he may be under duty to make full disclosure.
1949 Keith v. Clinchfield Coal Corp., 189 Va. 592, 54 S.E.2d 126.
Suit by employee for failing to warn employee of silicosis hazard. Evidence showed employer had no notice of danger, therefore no negligence.
1948 Burruss v. Suddith, 187 Va. 473, 47 S.E.2d 546.
There is duty to warn persons lawfully on premises of danger. No mention made as to classification of plaintiff as invitee, licensee, etc.
1948 Cape Charles Flying Serv. v. Nottingham, 187 Va. 444, 47 S.E.2d 540.
Duty to passengers upon discharge from plane to warn of danger of revolving propellers or to direct them to place of safety.