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Falls Floors: Cases Summarized By Accident Lawyer

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 Falls Floors and the related topic of premises liability.  For more information about premises liability see the pages on Wikipedia.

Falls Floors-Cases

2009—Fultz v. Delhaize Am., Inc., 278 Va. 84, 677 S.E.2d 272.
Trial court improperly granted summary judgment based upon contributory negligence of plaintiff where issue presented was whether or not metal bar attached to the floor in this grocery store was open and obvious and, if so, was it reasonable on the part of the plaintiff to not see it. Even assuming that the condition was open and obvious, the second issue was one for the jury.

2004 Southern Floors & Acoustics, Inc. v. Max-Yeboah, 267 Va. 682, 594 S.E.2d 908.
Falls floors.Issue was whether store was liable for negligence of independent contractor working on floors where plaintiff tripped over construction material laying on floor. Grocery store did not have duty to supervise work of contractor and did not have actual or constructive knowledge of condition causing plaintiff’s injury.

1997 Morrison-Knudsen Co. v. Wingate, 254 Va. 169, 492 S.E.2d 122.
Plaintiff slipped on landing while proceeding down stairs. Landing was composed of smooth concrete as opposed to stairs themselves that were composed of rough finished concrete. Burden on plaintiff to show that defendant deviated from standard of ordinary care, either by failing to observe applicable trade customs and building code or by some other fault. Plaintiff failed to meet burden that landing constituted defect or hazardous, unsafe, or unfit condition that defendant was bound to repair.

1997 Austin v. Shoney’s, Inc., 254 Va. 134, 486 S.E.2d 285.
Plaintiff was elderly woman who walked with cane. She was exiting restaurant when she fell on what was alleged to be slippery floor. Plaintiff’s evidence was that slippery oil-like substance had been on floor for at least 20 minutes before accident and that one other patron had slipped on floor and that this substance may have been cleaning substance placed there by the defendant. If jury accepted plaintiff’s theory that grease-like film was result of improper cleaning methods, then Shoney’s is charged with constructive knowledge of risk because it had duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid genesis of danger. Jury was unable to reach verdict and court sustained post-trial motion to strike. This was error.

1994 Ashby v. Faison & Assocs., 247 Va. 166, 440 S.E.2d 603.
Plaintiff entered lobby of office building on rainy day. There was a mat inside front door to absorb water as persons entered. Plaintiff proceeded on mat and then stepped on marble floor and fell on puddle of water. Plaintiff argued that appropriate test for liability is foreseeability, i.e., it was foreseeable that water would be brought into the building and the floor would become slippery and create hazardous condition. Court instead applied standard of actual or constructive notice. Plaintiff failed to present evidence of such in regards to puddle of water in question, and as such verdict for plaintiff reversed.

1986 Fobbs v. Webb Bldg. Ltd. P’ship, 232 Va. 227, 349 S.E.2d 355.<
Falls floors.In this case, rain had been falling for a long period of time causing water to accumulate at entrance of building. People had been entering building throughout night preceding accident. Water had been tracked into area where plaintiff fell. Although plaintiff could not say what caused her to fall, she stated she stepped on something very slippery. Jury issue as to negligence of defendant.

1986 Memco Stores, Inc. v. Yeatman, 232 Va. 50, 348 S.E.2d 228.
Falls floors.Slimy leaf on floor of department store was cause of plaintiff falling. This was one of several leaves found on floor in same general area. Plaintiff presented evidence that type of plant in question may shed its leaves. Jury question presented. Jury instruction as to duty of store owner is set out in margin.

1976 Bassett Furn. v. McReynolds, 216 Va. 897, 224 S.E.2d 323.
Falls floors.Plaintiff construction worker fell through hole in floor which he claimed was not visible. Company that made hole was held liable.

1968 Taylor v. Great Atl. & Pac. Tea Co., 209 Va. 64, 161 S.E.2d 692.
Plaintiff slipped and fell on ice and water from watermelon display table in defendant’s grocery store. Question of proximate cause was one of fact for jury, not one of law for court.

1962 Oden v. South Norfolk Redev. & Hous. Auth., 203 Va. 638, 125 S.E.2d 843.
Plaintiff fell on pool of water. Landlord had undertaken plumbing repairs but apparently they had been ineffective. This does not create any presumption of negligence.

1959 Williamsburg Shop v. Weeks, 201 Va. 244, 110 S.E.2d 189
Falls floors.Slip and fall on stairway allegedly due to dampness. Plaintiff failed to establish that area where she fell was damp but only that nearby area was damp.

1955 Reese v. Holloman, 199 Va. 939, 103 S.E.2d 5.
Falls floors.Defendant was installing furnace in plaintiff’s home. In doing so, grate in floor was removed and replaced with cardboard. Plaintiff stepped on cardboard and was injured. Jury issue presented.

1954 Charles v. Commonwealth Motors, Inc., 195 Va. 576, 79 S.E.2d 594.
Falls floors.Plaintiff fell on slippery terrazzo surface. Jury issue as to defendant’s negligence.

1952 Jones v. Lamm, 193 Va. 506, 69 S.E.2d 430.
Plaintiff servant injured when floor board of wagon broke. Master does not insure safety of servant. His duty is to exercise ordinary care to provide reasonably safe instrumentalities.

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Falls Floors: Cases Summarized By Accident Lawyer

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