Premises Liability – civil liability for injuries from dangerous conditions on property
What laws or rules apply to a premise’s liability case in Virginia?
Virginia has numerous legal precedents that may apply to a premise’s liability case. In most cases you will need an attorney to protect your legal interests and navigate the difficult case law that you may encounter. Attorneys reviewing these cases should update any research before citing any cases.
Indian Acres of Thornburg, Inc. v. Denion, 215 Va. 847, 850 (1975).
Property owners have a duty to use reasonable care to provide a safe environment for invitees, including the duties of prevision, preparation and lookout.
Clark v. Chapman, 238 Va. 655
Plaintiff struck by large store cart. The Court ruled that contributory negligence was not applicable as the shopper could not have reasonably expected to be hit by a large cart in the store.
Winn Dixie Stores v. Parker, 240 Va. 180 (1990)
Plaintiff fell on a bean in the store some 2 minutes after the area had been mopped. The store had a duty to remove such a defect within a reasonable time when it should have known such defect was present. Here, there was no evidence supporting notice as Defendant had just mopped the floor.
Leudtke v. Phillips, 190 Va. 207 (1949)
Where a landlord undertakes to do a repair, it had a duty to use ordinary care in making such repair. In this case the Plaintiff did not show the landlord made a bad repair Rather, the landlord came to make the repairs and the cabinet fell.
Love v. Schmidt, 239 Va. 357 (1990).
Plaintiff injured himself on a loose toilet seat. The owner had contracted with a maintenance company to do all repairs and maintain the building in a safe condition. The loose toilet seat had been reported to the maintenance company, but was not fixed. The Court noted that the landlord could not delegate his common law duty to keep the premises in safe condition. Notice to the maintenance company was considered as notice to the landlord based on agency principles.
Fox v. Custis, 236 Va. 69 (1988)
Under Virginia law a person ordinarily has not duty to prevent the criminal conduct of a third party. Here, a parole officer could not be found liable for the crimes of the parolee, as he did not take control over the parolee.
West v. City of Portsmouth, 217 Va. 724 (1977)
Plaintiff guilty of contributory negligence where he had actual knowledge of a defect and no reasonable excuse for his inattention. The same is true when a pedestrian has no actual notice but should have seen the defect because it was open and obvious.
Gulf Reston Inv. v. Rogers, 215 Va. 155 (1974)
A landlord has a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect the tenants in the areas for which he has control. Landlord, in the exercise of reasonable care, was not on notice that there was a reasonable probability of injury to the Plaintiff. In determining if a duty exists, the Court should consider the likelihood of injury, the extent of the burden in guarding against it and the consequences of placing that burden on the defendant.
Aragona Enters v. Miller, 214 Va. 298 (1972)
Plaintiff fell into drainage ditch near apartment and sustained fatal injuries. Landlord found not liable for injuries that occurred from an open and obvious condition.
Tazwell Supply v. Turner, 213 Va. 93 (1972)
Plaintiff was injured when he fell over a box left in the grocery store isle. The Court found that Plaintiff was contributorily negligent as a matter of law as it was open and obvious, and Plaintiff’s sister saw the box and avoided it.
Gall v. Great Atl & Pacific Tea Co, 202 Va. 835 (1961)
Plaintiff fell in the supermarket on grapes on the floor, which were visible. The Court correctly instructed the jury that Plaintiff could be contributory negligence for failing to see what was open and obvious.
West v. City of Portsmouth, 196 Va. 510 (1954)
General requirements for recovery for an injury due to a defective public street or sidewalk require consideration of the following: (1) Nature of the defective condition, (2) Notice, unless a defect is created by a municipality or defect created by license under permit granted or statute or charter provides otherwise, (3) there was time to repair after notice (4) defect caused the injury (5) no contributory negligence and (6) notice of injury given in a reasonable time
Sanitary Grocery Store v. Steinbrecher, 183 Va. 495 (1945)
Plaintiff was injured when she struck a protruding shelf in a grocery store. Whether this was negligence was an issue for the jury.
Kirby v. Moehlman, 182 Va. 876 (1944)
Plaintiff, a guest in a boarding house, was injured when he sat in a rocking chair that was missing a rocker. This condition was not considered open and obvious.