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Personal Injury

Va. Cir.: Carriage ride company not covered by immunity statute (access required)

The question whether the Lexington Carriage Company is protected by the limited grant of immunity in Code § 3.2-6200 et seq. may be one of first impression. Cases involving horse-drawn carriages are few in number. Many other states have equine ...

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4th Cir.: City had no duty to protect public from unruly kids (access required)

Despite not providing school transportation to students with known disciplinary problems, municipal entities had no duty to stop the students from harming residents of the neighborhoods the students traversed to reach school. Background Richard Fletcher and his wife lived just ...

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4th Cir.: Vets’ tort claims against contractor not justiciable (access required)

Waste and water management systems in Iraq and Afghanistan were operationally controlled by the military, not its contractor. Thus, mass tort claims for harms caused by the contractors’ alleged environmental mismanagement were barred by the political question doctrine. Background As ...

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EDVA: New SCOTUS ruling doesn’t bar torture claims (access required)

Claims against a U.S. military contractor for its involvement in abuse of Abu Ghraib prison detainees can proceed and are not affected by the U.S. Supreme Court’s April decision in Jesner v. Arab Bank PLC. Background This civil action arises out ...

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EDVA: CEO’s references to contractor plausibly defamatory (access required)

A manufacturer stated a claim for defamation against the project-management company for whom it had provided turbines, based on oblique comments about “quality control” made by the company’s CEO on its shareholder earnings call. Background In this action, Plaintiff Fluor ...

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4th Cir.: Imprisonment not sufficient to appoint counsel (access required)

The district court did not err in dismissing an inmate’s Eighth Amendment claims or in declining to appoint counsel, but remand is necessary because the lower court failed to address the plaintiff’s state-law medical malpractice claims. Background Plaintiff Steven Banks ...

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4th Cir.: Statistical significance analysis must be reliable (access required)

Experts’ calculation and application of statistical significance (p-values) must be relevant, reliable, and not likely to confuse jurors. After plaintiffs’ expert opinions were excluded, their non-expert evidence was not sufficient to survive summary judgment, and the district court appropriately granted ...

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4th Cir.: Shooting suicidal man was excessive force (access required)

An officer violated the Fourth Amendment in shooting a suicidal man who had a knife but was threatening only himself. The officer was entitled to qualified immunity, but the unconstitutionality of his actions is clearly established as of the date ...

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4th Cir.: Employer not liable for supervisor’s crude comments (access required)

A plaintiff claiming that her supervisor defamed her with crude comments at work could not hold their employer vicariously liable for the statements. The comments were outside the scope of employment, and the district court lacked any indication that this ...

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