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VA Supreme Court Sends Message To Trial Judges On Premature Dismissal

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The Supreme Court of Virginia released a bunch of decisions recently and in two tort cases they reversed and remanded dismissed cases after the trial judges jumped the gun on dismissing as a matter of law.

In the first case a tenant claimed a landlord was responsible for his eye injury due to mold after the landlord negligently repaired the property. The judge dismissed the case because he felt that their was no claim for negligence as the eye injury was caused by the prior existence of mold and not any failed repairs.

The second case involved a cyclist who was hit by a vehicle turning left across his path. The judge dismissed the case deeming that the cyclist was contributorily negligent because he looked down at his speedometer right before the impact.

From the SCoVA: "[W]e take the opportunity to again stress the principle of tort litigation that issues of negligence and proximate cause ordinarily are questions of fact for the jury to determine, rather than questions to be determined by the trial court as a matter of law."
Ben Glass
Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney
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