Virginia Lawyers Weekly//May 8, 2023
Virginia Lawyers Weekly//May 8, 2023//
Type of action: Premises liability
Injuries alleged: Severe laceration to the lower extremity
Name of case: Tenney v. Foster, et al.
Court: Page County Circuit Court
Case no.: CL21000773-00
Date resolved: 1/10/2023
Special damages: $53,397.86 in medical bills; $11,866.79 in lost wages
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Attorney for plaintiff: Colin P. O’Dawe, Norfolk
Description of case: On Feb. 8, 2020, the plaintiff and her husband rented the defendant’s vacation cabin with a hot tub located on an affixed deck. Upon arrival at the cabin the plaintiff discovered that there was an Adirondack chair left in front of the hot tub steps and moved the chair to utilize the hot tub. After relaxing in the hot tub, the plaintiff exited the hot tub using the stairs and walked directly over the area of the deck where the chair previously was located. A wooden deck board collapsed causing the plaintiff’s right leg to be severely lacerated. The plaintiff’s medical treatment included but was not limited to sutures, wound vac and debridement resulting in permanent scarring.
The defendant had a homeowner’s liability policy with Allstate in the amount of $100,000, which was tendered after a demand was sent. Later litigation revealed that the defendant discovered the wet rotten board and placed the chair over the wet rotten board. The defendant did not call or email the plaintiff or her husband to notify them of the condition. The defendant claimed that he left a note in the guest book regarding the dangerous condition, but the plaintiff contended that she never saw any such note.
The plaintiff maintained that the defendant was severely underinsured and needed to personally contribute to a settlement.
One month before trial, the defendant wrote a personal check for $100,000 for a total settlement of $200,000.
Colin P. O’Dawe, plaintiff’s counsel, provided case information.