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Ben Glass
Ben Glass
Attorney • (703) 584-7277

The only good kind of slip and fall case.

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We often get calls about people who have slipped and fallen in stores. Generally the cases are of two types. The more common case occurs when some food or drink has been left on the floor and the customer slips, falls and hurts himself. These cases are actually pretty difficult because we must prove first that the store knew or had enough time to have known, that there was a foreign object on the floor that could hurt someone and that the store did not take appropriate steps to clean it up in time.

The most common cause of food or drink on the floor is another customer and oftentimes we have no information as to how long it had been on the floor. The other great difficulty in these cases is proving that the customer was not in any way at fault. In Virginia, under the “contributory negligence doctrine” if a person is at fault in any significant way then they cannot recover even though the defendant was at much greater fault.

The second type of slip and fall case is one where the store has done something to deliberately make the floor slippery and then not warned about it. This usually involves cleaning the floor.

In Richmond recently a jury awarded $200,000.00 to a plaintiff where the supermarket floor had just been cleaned by an independent contractor and had a wet residue from the cleaning. The court upheld the verdict finding that there was evidence that a wet residue from the cleaning was present and that the store failed to warn plaintiff of this condition just before the plaintiff fell. This was a situation where, without warning signs, it would have been virtually impossible for the customer to know that the floor was dangerously wet.