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Judge Glen A. Huff

Man examining damage to vehicle
Aug 7, 2023

Waiver doesn’t discharge tort liability

An insurer’s waiver of its right to subrogation doesn’t discharge the tortfeasor’s underlying liability or satisfy the judgment, the Court of Appeals of Virginia has held.

Aug 6, 2023

Evidence from cell phone improperly suppressed

Where the trial court ruled that police improperly seized an unclaimed cell phone from a vehicle as evidence of a crime, this was error. A cell phone, standing alone, “is typically a common, unsuspicious item[.]” But when coupled with the fact that marijuana and guns were in the vehicle, along with two other cell phones […]

Jul 24, 2023

Waiver of subrogation right doesn’t discharge tort liability

Where an insurer waived its right to subrogation, this did not prevent the insured plaintiff from “recovering on a judgment against the tortfeasor.” Background Brown received a $286,000 judgment against Kirkpatrick for damages “for damages arising out of a motor vehicle accident.” Before trial, USAA, Brown’s insurer, told Kirkpatrick that it would waive subrogation against [&hell[...]

Jail cell with door opening
Jul 3, 2023

Court rejects commonwealth’s ‘misunderstanding’ of VTCA

The Court of Appeals of Virginia has affirmed a trial court’s denial of the commonwealth’s plea for sovereign immunity from liability under the Virginia Tort Claims Act, or VTCA, for the negligent conduct of its employees. The commonwealth claimed that the VTCA didn’t waive immunity where the allegedly tortious conduct arises from the performance of […]

Jun 25, 2023

Prison visitor’s tort suit goes forward

Sovereign immunity does not bar a suit under the Virginia Tort Claims Act brought by appellee who alleges prison personnel mistreated her when she came to the prison to visit her husband. Background Appellee alleges that prison personnel subjected her to strip and body cavity searches twice after K-9s alerted to her. The searches were […]

Car windshield shattered from accident
Jun 12, 2023

$7M verdict tossed for lack of evidence of proximate cause

A $7 million jury verdict was reversed after the Court of Appeals of Virginia found that the passenger in an auto accident didn’t introduce any evidence of proximate causation and therefore failed to establish her prima facie case of negligence. The jury found the oncoming driver liable for not avoiding the collision. But the plaintiff’s […]

Jun 1, 2023

Reckless driving conviction affirmed

Where appellant was convicted of reckless driving after he failed to negotiate a curve, causing his 18-wheel truck with a load of hogs to flip on its side, a rational trier of fact could reasonably infer that the crash was a result of appellant’s recklessness. Analysis “Multiple factors may indicate recklessness, ‘includ[ing] erratic driving, “the […]

Jun 1, 2023

Reasonable suspicion to search appellant

Where appellant tried to evade the police, who observed an “L-shaped” outline near his right front pocket, the officers had a reasonable, articulable suspicion of illegal activity, which justified a pat-down search. A gun that fell from appellant’s pant leg was properly admitted as evidence. Analysis “Under the totality of the circumstances here, the officers […]

May 31, 2023

No evidence for prima facie negligence case

Where no evidence was presented to establish a prima facie case of negligence in this car collision case, a $7 million jury verdict for appellee is reversed. There were three possible theories of causation: appellant caused the accident, appellant and the other driver caused the accident, or appellant was not a proximate cause despite her […]

Apr 20, 2023

Support award to wife upheld

Where the circuit court awarded wife $10,000 per month in spousal support, the court’s decision not to impute income to wife is supported by the record. Imputed income “At the outset, husband argues that the trial court should have imputed at least $65,000 of annual investment income to wife because his financial planning expert testified […]

Apr 13, 2023

No due process violation from delayed indictment

Even though there was a 26-year delay before appellant was indicted for forcible sodomy, robbery, and abduction with intent to defile, there was no due process violation. The prosecutor did not intentionally delay the matter. The delay did not prejudice appellant. Background Appellant was convicted of charges arising from a 1992 knifepoint assault of D.M. […]

Apr 3, 2023

Sentences revoked after technical violations

Where a statute defining technical probation violations was enacted after appellant committed several probation violations, those violations could properly be considered technical violations. This is so despite appellant’s argument that technical violations did not exist before the statute defining them was enacted. Those violations, plus technical violations committed after the statute took eff[...]

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