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Slip-and-fall case decided by order

The Supreme Court of Virginia probably thinks it has written enough on slip and fall cases that Garlick v. Safeway, Record No. 082469, doesn’t merit more than an unpublished order reinstating a case that had been dismissed on a motion to strike.

The order is here for whatever guidance practitioners may find from it.

The trial judge in Fairfax County ruled that the plaintiff hadn’t presented evidence that Safeway had constructive notice of the water on the floor that the plaintiff said she slipped in.

The plaintiff contended that she slipped in the spot where a store employee had unloaded a refrigerated cheese cart moments earlier. The Supreme Court said that was enough that jury should have decided the case.

“Garlick’s evidence was sufficient for a jury to reasonably conclude that Safeway’s employee either allowed the water to accumulate on the floor or was standing in or so near water of a sufficient quantity that the employee should have recognized the danger posed by the water and either removed it or warned Safeway’s customers of the danger,” the court said.

By Alan Cooper

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