Weiner, Spivey & Miller, PLC

Premises Liability

Negligent Maintenance of a Premises

Slip and fall accidents are among the most common causes of premises liability injuries. Others include: animal attacks, faulty construction, accidental drowning and association negligence. When a property owner neglects their responsibility to maintain a safe premises, they can be held liable for any injuries that occur.

Slip and Fall Cases:

Fall in Grocery Store Results in Permanent Injury

Our client, Chelsea, slipped and fell in the refrigerated aisle of a grocery store. A store employee had been seen stocking a refrigerated display case at the exact location of the wet area, immediately before Chelsea fell. Chelsea’s injuries included a severe wrist fracture, which resulted in some permanent loss in her range of motion. After Lawson Spivey and Ed Weiner won Chelsea’s trial, the defendant grocery store company appealed the case to the Virginia Supreme Court and lost. The Fairfax jury’s $135,000 award to Chelsea was upheld.


Our client was walking to an HOA meeting one winter evening. The sidewalk appeared to be clear with snow piled on the sides. It was dark, and she was not able to see the ice on a dark part of the sidewalk. She slipped and fell where no salt or sand had been applied. Our client suffered a broken leg and damaged hip, requiring a metal rod to be inserted in her femur and a pin in her hip. A successful mediation of the claim resulted in a $370,000 settlement for the client.


Our client was walking in a shopping center parking lot near Dulles Airport. The parking lot had been cleared of snow, but there had been melting and refreezing. The shopping center owner had not applied salt or sand to the area that refroze. The area in question appeared to our client to be wet, but it was black ice. A fractured ankle required surgery, and a plate and screws were permanently inserted. Ed Weiner and Mike Brown were able to negotiate a settlement of $250,000 for the client.

CLICK HERE to view our recent blog post about evaluating slip and fall cases.

Dog Bite Cases:

Dog Bites Pool Repair Man

Our client arrived to inspect and repair a pool facility. The homeowner took him into the fenced backyard, where the homeowner’s dog was loose. The homeowner was aware that the dog was loose and that the dog had a propensity to bite strangers. The dog attacked and bit our client, causing severe lacerations to his hand and arm, which resulted in significant infections. Lawson Spivey and Ed Weiner successfully negotiated a $500,000 settlement for our client.

Construction Cases:

Unsafe Construction Practices Results in Loss of Life

In preparation for a family wedding, Gill and his wife hired a design and construction company to install a new staircase in their home. The construction company failed to properly cover and secure the opening in the floor during remodeling. Gill fell through the hole and died the next day from his injuries. The family privately shared with Ed Weiner that they did not want to go to trial. Ed Weiner negotiated a $500,000 settlement on their behalf.

Fraternity Negligence Cases

Fraternities Held Liable for Misconduct

The firm has handled two recent fraternity cases.

The first involved a shuttle service managed and operated by a fraternity to transport students to off-campus parties. The shuttle drivers were all students and members of the fraternity. One evening, a shuttle driver drove recklessly and rolled his car -- ejecting our client, Helen. While it was fortunate that she survived, Helen suffered serious internal and orthopedic injuries. She was forced to give up her rowing scholarship. The fraternity denied all responsibility and refused to negotiate a settlement. Ed Weiner, Lawson Spivey and Mike Brown won a $600,000 jury verdict. WSM also worked with the university to put tighter procedures in place for non-university shuttles.

The second case involved fraternity “pledging” or initiation. Pledges were transported from Fairfax to the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville for a middle-of-the- night “race”. The pledges were not told that the hill they would run down was terraced -- with a major drop-off, which could not be seen in the dark. Our sophomore client fell and fractured his femur (thigh bone). Surgery and rehabilitation were required. The fraternity initially denied any liability, but Ed Weiner and Mike Brown negotiated a $155,000 settlement for the client.