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COMPLAINT FOR PERSONAL INJURY

VIRGINIA:

IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT COURT OF THE CITY OF NORFOLK

EVA BLANCHARD

Plaintiff,

  1. CIVIL COMPLAINT NO:

MARVIN SNYDER & MARY SNYDER

735 Maury Avenue,

Norfolk, VIRGINIA.

Defendants.

COMPLAINT FOR PERSONAL INJURY

Plaintiff, Eva Blanchard, represents the following as and for her Complaint for Personal Injury, filed herein against Marvin Snyder and Mary Snyder (hereinafter, the Defendants), residents of 735 Maury Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia in the amount set forth below and that the cause of action is herewith filed by the Plaintiff for compensation for personal injuries resulting from one (1) count of negligent conduct on the part of the Defendants.

  1. COUNT ONE: NEGLIGENCE – ACTING WITH UTTER DISREGARD OF CAUTION
  2. That on the morning of April 13, 2013 at about 7:00 a.m., the Plaintiff was lawfully on the premises of the Defendants Mr. Marvin Snyder and Mrs. Mary Snyder as an invited guest, having arrived from New Jersey for the Easter holiday the previous day.
  3. That during the time and place aforementioned in Count One, paragraph 1, the Plaintiff woke up and entered the bathroom whose concrete floor was covered with a new, no wax, vinyl covering installed the morning before the plaintiff arrived, in order to use the bathroom.
  4. The Plaintiff and her husband had been guests of the Defendants twice a year over the previous five or six years.
  5. The Defendants had recently placed a small throw rug whose color scheme matched that of the bathroom and whose rubber backing had worn off over the years other than a few remaining grooves.
  6. The Plaintiff who was 56 years old at the time, on attempting to get off the toilet, had slipped on the seven-year-old throw rug and fallen to the floor, injuring her knee.
  7. That neither of the Defendants had informed the Plaintiff that the throw rug could slip and that the Defendants had then thrown away the rug following the accident.

WHEREFORE Plaintiff having set out with particularity the allegations and representations of her Complaint for Personal injuries filed herein and against the Defendants Marvin Snyder and Mary Snyder, respectfully request that this Honorable Court enter and award an execution of judgment against the Defendant in favor of the Plaintiff as and for compensatory damages as a result of the Defendants’ negligence alleged in Count One hereinabove in the amount of $5,000 plus court costs, service fees and legal interests from the date of April 13, 2013, as prejudgment interest, and prospectively from the date of judgment herein and that she have such other and further relief as the Court shall seem just, fitting, etc.

Dated:

Respectfully submitted,

For the Plaintiff.

 

VIRGINIA:

IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT COURT OF THE CITY OF NORFOLK

EVA BLANCHARD

Plaintiff,

  1. CASE NO.:

MARVIN SNYDER & MARY SNYDER

735 Maury Avenue,

Norfolk, VIRGINIA.

Defendants.

ANSWER

Defendants Marvin Snyder and Mary Snyder, pursuant to Virginia Code …., hereby answer and assert an affirmative defense to the Complaint for Personal Injury by the Plaintiff Eva Blanchard as follows:

  1. Defendants admit the truth of the factual allegations of the paragraph A of Count 1 of the Complaint titled “Negligence – acting with utter disregard of caution.”
  2. Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the factual allegations made in B of Count 1 of the Complaint.
  3. Defendants admit the truth of the factual allegations of paragraph C of Count 1 of the Complaint.
  4. Defendants admit the truth of the factual allegations of paragraph D of Count 1 of the Complaint.
  5. Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations in paragraph E of Count 1 of the Complaint.
  6. Defendants admit the truth of the allegations contained in paragraph F of Count 1 of the Complaint.

WHEREFORE, Defendants pray for judgment from the Court as follows:

  1. Dismissing the Complaint of the Plaintiff herein with prejudice.
  2. Denying all remedies sought by Plaintiff in the Complaint
  3. Awarding the Defendant costs and disbursements together with such other relief the Court finds to be just and proper.

 

Dated:

Respectfully Submitted,

For the Defendants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEMORANDUM

The facts of the case are that Plaintiff had visited the defendants’ home several times a year five or six years prior to the occurrence of the accident. Additionally, the plaintiff had used the shower, the sink and the toilet in the bathroom prior to the morning of the accident with no reported incidents. Kahneman et al. argue that it is damages may not be awarded whereupon it is established that a plaintiff had previously used a premise without incident (1998).  The defendants had also recently installed a vinyl covering for the bathroom floor and had placed a worn-out throw rug on the bathroom floor.

Several issues about the accident are unclear. It is unclear whether the defendants knew of the possibility that the rug could slip on the vinyl floor covering they had only recently installed. What is also unclear is whether the throw rug had been in the bathroom during the times the Plaintiff had used it prior to the accident.

In order for the plaintiff to be awarded any compensation due to the accident, she needs to prove that there was prior knowledge of the fact that the rug could slip, and that the defendants had neglected to warn her of this fact in disregard for caution (Sugarman, 2006). It is also worth noting that Virginia is one of only a few states that still use the law of contributory negligence based on common law whereby if the person injured in the accident is found to share in the blame for the accident, bearing as low as 1% of the fault, they will not be able to recover any damages from other parties at fault (Weissenberg & McFarland, 2014).

Based on these facts and issues, and given the pure contributory negligence rule in Virginia, it seems highly unlikely that the plaintiff can make out a successful case against the defendants for injuries resulting from the accident on their premises.

 

References:

Kahneman, D., Schkade, D., & Sunstein, C. R. (1998). Shared outrage and erratic awards: The psychology of punitive damages. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 16, 49–86.

Weissenberger, G., & McFarland, B. (2014). The law of premises liability. Dayton, OH: LexisNexis.

Sugarman, S. D. (2006). A comparative law looks at pain and suffering awards. DePaul Law Review, 55, 399–434.

 

 

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