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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Domestic Relations – Custody – Presumption For Natural Parent (access required)

Where the sister of the child’s deceased mother provided the child a very good home, and the father of the child provided no home or support whatsoever during the child’s formative years, the evidence rebuts the presumption favoring custody by ...

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Municipal – Constitutional – Noise Ordinance – Vagueness (access required)

A municipal noise ordinance that depends for enforcement on the subjective perceptions and sensibilities of the listener is unconstitutional because its language is impermissibly vague, the Virginia Supreme Court says. The ordinance before us prohibits any “unreasonably loud, disturbing and ...

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Concrete truck overturns, fractures spine, causes traumatic brain injury – $1,600,000 Settlement (access required)

Plaintiff was working for a closely held family business that installs concrete footings and concrete slabs for residential construction by general contractors. Plaintiff was an owner of the company and not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. On the day plaintiff ...

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Employment – Public Employee Termination – Harassment – Grievance Procedure (access required)

The Virginia Supreme Court says the intermediate appellate court erred in upholding a state employee’s termination as “contradictory to law” because the grievant failed to identify any applicable law that the termination contradicted. In this case involving an appeal under ...

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Medical Malpractice – Wrongful Death – Jury Instruction (access required)

In a wrongful death action, the trial court properly denied a jury instruction that would have made the defendant doctors liable for aggravation of the decedent’s injuries by others without allowing the jury to determine whether the subsequent harm was ...

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Staff psychologists allege defamation at hospital – $2,000,000 Verdict (access required)

The Eastern State Hospital director and a staff psychologist made allegations of unethical conduct in a human research project involving administration of psychological test known as MMPI-2. The test consists of 567 true-false questions. The allegations included giving tests to ...

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Traffic Offenses – DUI – Unconsciousness Defense (access required)

A defendant’s convictions of driving while intoxicated and maiming while DWI are affirmed by the Virginia Supreme Court where, despite evidence suggesting the defendant was “sleepwalking” when he caused the accident, the trial court never made a factual finding of ...

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Wills & Trusts – Fiduciary Duty – Proof of Damages (access required)

The Virginia Supreme Court says a circuit court erred when it concluded that a trustee who failed to sell the trust’s unprofitable coal mine could be held liable for damages based on an unsupported assumption about the market value of ...

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