The Plaintiff had parked his truck, and before sunrise, walked across the dark, unlit parking lot. As he crossed a grating, he fell into a gaping hole where the plates had given way. In this particular area there is a grating of approximately 80-100 feet long and about a foot wide. Of this, there were at least two full grates missing. There were also several large holes. These latent defects were repaired post accident. There are photos from that night, taken with the plaintiff truck driver’s disposable camera (!) and others professionally taken later showing the repairs.
The lawsuit was filed in the State Court, but the national chain’s lawyers “removed” the case to the infamous “Rocket Docket,” AKA the U.S. District Court, for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division. This premises liability case was set for trial in Federal Court, but Mediation in Herndon at the Landau Law Shop with the retired Chief Judge of the local Circuit Court enabled the parties to compromise the claims and save the client many thousands of dollars in Court costs.