Virginia Foundation's Slip & Fall Case Appealed to Supreme Court

In an appeal of great importance involving a charitable entity's ability to escape liability on the basis of charitable immunity, the Supreme Court of Virginia has currently before it the case of Barnett v. The Byrd Theatre Foundation.

In that case, a volunteer organ restorer fell from a walk board that was negligently attached and suffered serious injuries. The Theatre raised the defense of charitable immunity, which protects charities from liability, arguing Barnett, the volunteer, was a beneficiary of the charity at the time of his fall. The trial court denied the plea and Barnett was awarded a jury verdict. The Foundation appealed. Our legal team was fortunate enough to co-author the attached brief amicus curiae on behalf of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association in support of the volunteer plaintiff. Oral arguments were heard before the Supreme Court on January 7, 2014.