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Appeal notices filed in Charlottesville death case

The Supreme Court of Virginia will be asked to review a hard-fought Charlottesville wrongful death case where the judge slashed a death verdict by more than $4 million and imposed a record-breaking sanctions award against a plaintiff’s lawyer.

Both sides have filed notices of appeal in the case of Lester v. Allied Concrete Co., according to attorneys in the case.

The case arose from a 2007 accident between a concrete truck and a passenger car that led to the death of nurse trainee Jessica Lester. Last December, a jury awarded widower Isaiah Lester $8.6 million and another $2 million for Jessica’s parents.

After the trial, Judge Edward Hogshire cut the verdict and ordered Lester’s lawyer, Matthew Murray of Charlottesville, to pay $542,000 in sanctions for directing his client to hide embarrassing Facebook photos and then hiding his own role in the effort to bury evidence.

By Peter Vieth

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