Pels Law Firm attorney Katerina Newell successfully convinced the Virginia Supreme Court to hear a case dismissed by a Loudoun County court.
Virginia has an eight year statute of repose, which means that if you build a defective building and it collapses and kills someone, you cannot sue the builder if it has been more than eight years. The lone exception is if a contractor comes in and does work that modifies the property and if that modification involves equipment, not fixtures. There is a huge gray area in the law as to what constitutes equipment and what constitutes fixtures. Our client was an 18-year-old man who entered the grain silo in Virginia, and pushed the button to get the conveyor belt to work so the material would flow into his truck. A loud explosion occurred, and the young man was killed when trapped under tons and tons of material. We learned that a modification had been made to the silo that our experts believe turbo charged the flow that ultimately led to the demise of the silo.
It is difficult to get the Supreme Court to hear cases. Thanks to Katerina Newell’s superlative research ability, the Virginia Supreme Court recently notified us that they will hear the full appeal.
The Pels Law Firm is proud to stand with victims and their families and prosecute these cases until every remedy has been exhausted. We are confident we will make good law, clarify what is a very gray area, and bring what limited justice is left for the family of this young man who died.
“I would like to thank Katerina Newell, who took the lead on drafting the well-pled appeal documents,” said Managing Partner, Jon Pels.