Some lady was at a Food Lion in Roanoke with her grandson. She went to use the ATM and while she was doing so her grandson started to wander away. The lady went to go after him and tripped over some metal bars that stick out from the sides of the ATM.

She sued Delhaize America, Food Lion’s parent company, and originally was determined to be “contributorily negligent” because the black metal bars 5-inches off the ground presented an “open and obvious hazard.”

And that ruling was made only based on briefs! Not even a trial to determine exactly what happened and how distracted or focused the plaintiff might have been.

Now that’s a dangerous precedent to set, determining a person’s state of mind at the moment of incident simply from words on paper!

Thank goodness the Supreme Court of VA agreed with me and overturned the decision to grant judgment without trial (summary judgment). At least now the process will be allowed to continue on its course.

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney
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