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Fairfax County Circuit Court

Feb 4, 2023

Plaintiff lacks standing to sue for undue influence

Where plaintiff was not the personal representative of the decedent’s estate, he lacks standing to sue his sister for undue influence, unjust enrichment and breach of fiduciary duty. His fraud claim, however, goes forward. His request for an accounting is granted. Overview Susan Forbes, John B. Forbes and Chip Forbes are heirs to the decedent, […]

Jan 12, 2023

Usurious lender may recover principal but not interest

Where a lender charged a usurious interest rate on a loan, the lender may recover the principal sum but not interest and fees. A second loan contract in this case is unenforceable due to lack of consideration. Loans Plaintiff Shannon and defendant Smalls met while both were in jail. After Shannon was released, he gave […]

Jan 12, 2023

Sole proprietor not required to have workers’ comp insurance

A working owner of an unincorporated business is not an employee within the meaning of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. Further, the business’ customers do not employ the business’ workers. As a result, the business owner was not required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance because the business did not have at least three employees. Consequently, […]

Nov 14, 2022

Dead Man’s statute corroboration requirements

Where eight consolidated cases present opportunities to apply Virginia’s Dead Man’s statute, the court clarifies the statute’s corroboration requirements. Overview Estate of Lohman has been consolidated with Rosenthal/Bavely. The common thread is application of the Dead Man’s statute. “In Lohman, … Ms. Lohman [the decedent’s personal representative] seeks to exclude certain testimony[...]

Nov 14, 2022

No unilateral revocation of LLC voting rights

No statutory or common law right exists allowing members of a limited liability company, or LLC, to unilaterally revoke an assignment of voting rights to another member, according to a recent ruling from a Northern Virginia circuit court. Judge David Oblon of the Fairfax County Circuit Court explained that “[n]o statutory authority directly addresses the […]

Nov 8, 2022

Employment discrimination claim survives demurrer

Where an auditor presented evidence to a county school board of alleged wrongdoing by “senior leadership,” her claim against the board under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act goes forward. The board’s demurrer is overruled. Plaintiff “sufficiently alleges facts sufficient to support a ‘reasonable inference’ that: (1) she engaged in protected activity; (2) the Board […]

Nov 8, 2022

No unilateral revocation of LLC voting rights

There is no statutory or common law right for a limited liability corporation member to unilaterally revoke an assignment of voting rights to another member. In the alternative, the court “holds that the assignee members in the present case assigned their voting rights coupled with an interest. Thus, if common law principal-agency principles applied in […]

Nov 7, 2022

Lack of standing: Failure to disclose dooms med-mal claim

A medical malpractice claim that a plaintiff failed to disclose when she filed for bankruptcy has been dismissed for lack of standing. The defendants discovered the bankruptcy filing on the eve of trial and filed a motion to dismiss the next morning. Judge Richard E. Gardiner of the Fairfax County Circuit Court agreed with the […]

Nov 7, 2022

Young woman struck by work van, developed knee lesion — $275,000 settlement

Type of action: Personal injury Injuries alleged: Morel-Lavallee lesion, scarring Court: Fairfax County Circuit Court Date resolved: 6/30/2022 Special damages: $85,000 in medical bills Verdict or settlement: Settlement Amount: $275,000 Attorney for plaintiff (and city): Justin W. Curcio, Alexandria Description of case: Client was a pedestrian struck by a work van making a U-turn in […]

Oct 31, 2022

Med mal action is part of bankruptcy estate

Where the bankruptcy plaintiff did not disclose that she had a medical malpractice claim and did not seek to exempt it from the bankruptcy estate, plaintiff lacks standing to pursue the claim. “[T]he cause of action remain[s] a part of the bankruptcy estate and [is] enforceable solely by the trustee.” Defendant’s motion to dismiss is […]

Oct 17, 2022

‘Dead Man’s Statute’ addressed

In an opinion affecting several cases in active litigation, a circuit court has sought to clarify Va. Code § 8.01-397 — the “Dead Man’s Statute.”  Virginia is the only state to have such a statute, which provides for the admission of hearsay from a decedent if it is relevant and corroborated. Jurors are permitted to […]

Sep 30, 2022

Punitive damages award reduced in defamation case

Where a jury awarded $1 in compensatory damages and $200,000 in punitive damages on a defamation claim, a motion for remittitur is granted. The award is reduced to $25,000. Background The parties are both dentists. Brown hired Grundy in 2013 and terminated him in 2018. Each sued the other. Both claimed and counterclaimed, among other […]

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