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Personal Injury

WDVA: Misuse defense not pre-empted by OSHA (access required)

In a workplace-injury suit, an equipment manufacturer had a duty to account for foreseeable misuses of its product, regardless of whether the specific workplace met federal safety standards. Background Plaintiff Corey Stowers was a maintenance worker at a Georgia Pacific ...

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Va. Cir.: Complaint amended with party’s real name didn’t relate back (access required)

Filed days before the end of the limitations period and never served, the initial complaint didn’t put the defendant on notice of the suit, a Virginia circuit court held. The filing period also wasn’t extended by the defendant’s use of ...

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WDVA: Plaintiff couldn’t prove notice of hazard (access required)

Defendant Wal-Mart Stores seeks summary judgment in this slip-and-fall case. Virginia law applies. The only evidence in the record is the deposition testimony of Plaintiff Mary Diggs and her companion at Wal-Mart on the day in question. The facts drawn ...

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Va. Cir.: Interlocutory appeal on immunity issues certified (access required)

Concluding that its first-impression immunity rulings would likely lead to an appeal of any trial result, the court stayed proceedings in a negligence action pending interlocutory appeals requested by both parties. Background In January 2014, the City of Norfolk contracted ...

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4th Cir.: Agency head has qualified, not absolute, immunity (access required)

The former head of a Virginia agency, sued in her personal capacity for failure to manage patient intake at state mental health hospitals, was entitled to qualified immunity because prisons are not per se unable to safely care for mentally ...

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EDVA: Affirmative defense not provable without expert testimony (access required)

Plaintiff Robert Benedict sues Hankook Tire Company for the production and distribution of an allegedly defective tire. Benedict seeks summary judgment as to the Defendants’ affirmative defense of contributory negligence. Expert opinions lacking The standard of care applicable in this case is ...

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Va. Cir.: GDC limit no bar to high ad damnum (access required)

A personal-injury plaintiff could claim $200,000 in ad damnum even though the circuit court was exercising only its appellate jurisdiction. The court acknowledged contrary precedent from the Supreme Court of Virginia, but sought to avoid retrial in the event of ...

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4th Cir.: Service on statutory agent doesn’t start removal clock (access required)

A plaintiff could not keep her lawsuit against her insurance company out of federal court because her service of process on a statutory agent didn’t start the clock for noticing removal to federal court. The court also deemed the company ...

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4th Cir.: Warnings expert properly excluded (access required)

A plaintiff’s proffered warnings expert could not be qualified on the basis of his own personal reasoning, and the plaintiff’s failure to read appropriate warnings defeated her design-defect allegations. Background Appellant Deborah Meek Hickerson sustained serious internal injuries in a ...

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SCV: Pediatric expert wrongly disqualified (access required)

The circuit court erred in granting summary judgment against a plaintiff whose only expert as to both standard of care and causation was wrongly excluded. The expert should have been permitted to testify because she met both the knowledge and ...

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