Earlier this month in Oklahoma, a $350,000 settlement was reached in favor of a woman who was seriously injured at a track-and-field meet held at a local school. According to a news source covering the case, the woman and her husband were attending the meet as spectators and were standing in a section that had been fenced off and specifically designated as a place for people to watch the event. However, during the meet, a student athlete threw a discus that traveled into the spectator area and struck the plaintiff.
The object that struck the plaintiff was a standard 3.5-pound discus that was plastic with a metal core. As a result of the incident, the 83-year-old woman suffered serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury.
The woman and her husband filed a premises liability lawsuit against the school district as well as the Nebraska State Activities Association, alleging that the organizations failed to keep spectators safe. Specifically, the plaintiff and her husband claimed that there was not a sufficient barrier between the athletes and the spectators, that the organizations failed to warn spectators about the dangers involved, and that there was no safe area to observe.
After the incident, the school district moved the fence so that it was farther from where the athletes were competing. Warning signs were also posted along the fence, explaining that “spectators entering the discus and shot put venues assume all risk of danger incidental to the event including but not limited to the danger of being injured by equipment as well as flying discuses and shot puts.”
While the case was scheduled for a jury trial, the parties reached a pre-trial settlement whereby the plaintiff would receive $350,000 for her injuries.
Premises Liability Lawsuits in Virginia
In Virginia, landowners and business owners have a duty to those whom they invite onto their property. While the level of duty required depends on the individual circumstances of each case, generally speaking, a property owner should eliminate all known dangerous hazards and warn visitors of the hazards that could not be cured or eliminated. In many cases, a premises liability defendant will seek to avoid liability by claiming that they were unaware of the hazard and therefore could not have remedied it or warned the plaintiff about it. While that is a valid defense in Virginia, the law does allow for liability to be based on constructive knowledge. Constructive knowledge only requires that a reasonable property owner “should have known” about the hazard, had they been diligent.
Have You Been Injured in a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Virginia slip-and-fall accident or any other accident that occurred on another party’s property, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Skilled brain injury attorney Sidney Schupak has extensive experience handling all types of personal injury matters, including premises liability cases. Call 703-491-7070 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
See More Blog Posts:
The Importance of Medical Experts in Virginia Medical Malpractice Cases, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, March 27, 2017.
Federal Appellate Court Determines Government Is Immune from Liability for Bicycle Accident Occurring in National Forest, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, April 10, 2017.