Woman sues owner over fall on porch

Posted: September 12, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — A woman is suing a former city man for $250,000 after she slipped and fell on his freshly painted porch.

According to the lawsuit, filed last week in Winchester Circuit Court, Theresa Elliot was “an invitee” to Stephen R. Cowgill’s property at 123 E. Clifford St. on Sept. 14, 2011.

Cowgill, on the same day, “did paint or caused to have painted” the porch of that property with a semi-gloss paint or the like, the suit states.

“Upon walking on the porch ... Elliot slipped and fell due to the slippery nature of the semi-gloss, or the like, paint that had been applied to the aforesaid porch,” the suit states.

The suit also states that it had rained that day.

“As the owner of the real property, defendant, Stephen R. Cowgill, had a duty to maintain his property in a reasonably safe condition; to make inspections to determine whether any latent defects existed; and to warn the public of any latent defects known to them,” the suit states. “...Cowgill negligently allowed a slippery paint to be applied to his porch...”

Elliot alleges that Cowgill — who now lives in Front Royal and could not be reached Wednesday for comment — failed to provide any warning to the public of the “slippery and hazardous condition created by the paint.”

As a result, Elliot sustained serious and permanent injuries, incurred and continues to incur expenses for medical care, loss of time and money from employment and suffering and discomfort, according to the suit.

She is seeking $250,000 plus interest.

— Contact Melissa Boughton at mboughton@winchesterstar.com