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DUI wreck was ‘accident’ for insurance purposes
Everyone knows what an “accident” is – until a court decision hinges on the meaning of the word, at which point it becomes as enigmatic as a Rorschach test. Indeed, the question of whether drunken-driving deaths are “accidental” for purposes of accidental death insurance has long troubled the courts. On May 24, the 4th U.S….
Driver’s DUI-Maiming Conviction Stands
An accident victim’s operation of his motorized wheelchair erratically and while intoxicated did not break the chain of proximate causation between the drunken and inattentive driving by defendant, and the victim’s injuries, and defendant was guilty of DUI maim­ing in violation of Va. Code § 18.2-51.4, says the Supreme Court of Virginia. Causation element Appellant…
BENJAMIN v. COMMONWEALTH (unpublished) JULY 18, 2000 Record No. 2254-98-2 ODEH BENJAMIN v. COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF PETERSBURG Oliver A. Pollard, Jr., Judge Present: Judges Benton, Humphreys and Retired Judge Olitsky* Argued at Richmond, Virginia Mary Katherine Martin, Senior Assistant Public Defender, for appellant. Linwood T. Wells,…
Carrier must give defense to bar after drunk man hurt woman
A bar may have insurance coverage in a case stemming from personal injuries caused by a drunken motorcyclist, despite a liquor liability exclusion and the absence of a dram shop law in Virginia. Joshua Bristol lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into April Dawn Mapp in front of Three Cheers bar in Portsmouth in…
Evid.suff.to convict for felony failure to stop at scene of accid…
Coverage issues, posthumous beneficiary complicate settlement – $230,000 Settlement
In this wrongful death case, the sole statutory beneficiary was a posthumous child born five months after the accident. Plaintiff’s decedent was killed instantly in a head-on collision while operating a delivery van in the westbound lane of Interstate 64 at 3:00 a.m. on November 20, 2006. The defendant driver, who also died in the…
Any error in defendant’s prosecution for aggravated involuntary manslaughter under Code § 18.2-36.1 arising from evidence as to certain blood alcohol tests, and the alleged deprivation of his right to have a particular blood sample independently tested, was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Further, the evidence was sufficient to support his conviction, which is affirmed….
MADD renews call for dram-shop legislation in wake of wreck
Mothers Against Drug Driving’s Southside Virginia chapter will renew efforts to hold bars liable for drunken-driving injuries, in the wake of a recent accident on I-264 that killed four people. MADD says that 43 states and the District of Columbia have laws or court rulings that impose liability on owners or employees of establishments that…
Driver gets summary judgment in pedestrian case
The Schneider tractor-trailer driven by defendant Sanders was traveling westbound on Route 360 at approximately 12:50 a.m., when the decedent ran from a dark embankment into the travel portion of Route 360 and into the path of the oncoming trailer. Plaintiff’s theory of the case was that the decedent was walking down Route 360 and…
Negligence – Negligence Per Se – Contributory Negligence – Va. Law
Where the Supreme Court of Virginia answered a certified question from the 4th Circuit by holding that a defendant in this premises liability case could assert the defense of contributory negligence against plaintiff’s claim of negligence per se arising from defendant’s building code violations on the height of a balcony railing, the 4th Circuit affirms…

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