17 Feb Virginia: Car Accidents – a Lawyer’s Pedestrian
On February 12, 2016, the Virginia Supreme Court issued Simms v. Van Son, No. 150191, an unpublished Order. It reversed the Circuit Court of Brunswick County holding at jury trial that a pedestrian struck by an auto was contributorily negligent as a matter of law and a proximate cause of the accident. Id. at 1, 6.
Notably Plaintiff in Simms was hit while traversing a post office parking lot, which the parties stipulated was a “highway” under Va. Code §46.2-100; instead of using the sidewalk. Id. at 1-3. The Virginia Supreme Court distinguished Simms from several cases of contributory negligence “in which pedestrians were barred from recovering against defendant drivers [when] struck while jaywalking between the intersections on busy streets,” id. at 5; and held “a reasonable jury could find that any negligence on the part of Simms was a mere remote, rather than a proximate, cause of the accident”. Id. at 6.