Ashby v. Faison & Assocs., Inc – Case Brief Summary (Virginia)

In Ashby v. Faison & Assocs., Inc., 247 Va. 166, 440 S.E. 2d 603, 10 Va. Law Rep. 936 (1994), the plaintiff slipped and fell in puddles of water that had gathered on the marble floor of a building lobby. According to the plaintiff, it had been raining outside and she was using an umbrella.

Before entering the building, she shook the rain off her umbrella. Once inside, she walked the length of the rain mat that was placed just inside of the door, and which she described as being "soaked with water." Ashby, supra, 247 Va. at 168, 440 S.E. 2d at 605.

She then took several steps before she slipped and fell. "She did not see the water before she fell, but when she 'got up she brushed the side of her clothes . . . and they were wet.'" Id.

On appeal, the Ashby Court concluded, id. at 170:

There was no evidence . . . that any person, including plaintiff herself, knew of the existence of water on the lobby floor before she fell. So there was no showing that the defendants actually knew of the existence of a hazardous condition before plaintiff fell or that the condition had existed long enough that the defendants should have known of its existence in time to remove it or to warn plaintiff of the danger.