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Student signals legal action over ABC arrest

abc(AP) — A University of Virginia student has notified the state that she plans to file a civil action over her arrest by Alcohol Beverage Control agents.

The notice filed last week begins a dialogue between Elizabeth Daly’s lawyers and the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, Don LeMond with the Virginia Department of Treasury told The Daily Progress.

“The law is set up this way to avoid the state having to go to court all the time,” LeMond told the newspaper.

LeMond, who is director of the department’s division of risk management, said his office receives hundreds of such notices annually from people who say a state entity or employee has damaged them in some way.

“Not that many (complaints) are big issues like this one; most are relatively innocuous,” LeMond told the newspaper. “Most of our claims are transportation related, or come from prisoners.”

On April 11, 2013, ABC agents confronted Daly after mistaking sparkling water that she had bought for beer.

Daly fled with two friends. She was charged with two felonies for grazing two agents with her vehicles. The charges were later dropped and Daly’s record was expunged.

Daly, 20, has said she panicked because the agents weren’t in uniform and one pulled a gun.

Her notice of a civil action comes under the Virginia Tort Claims Act, which allows an individual to hold the state liable in limited circumstances, LeMond said. In most instances, sovereign immunity protects the state from liability.

The dollar amount of a settlement would generally be subject to disclosure, unless a “confidentiality agreement is imposed by a court of competent jurisdiction or otherwise required by law,” Virginia code states.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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