Judge J. Overton Harris

Jun 6, 2022

Jury returns defense verdict in gas station trip-and-fall case

Type of action: Personal injury Injuries alleged: Fractured left hip Name of case: Grubb v. R.S. Link Inc. Court: Hanover County Circuit Court Case no.: CL20-2414 Tried before: Jury Name of judge or mediator: Judge J. Overton Harris Date resolved: 1/28/2022 Special damages: $245,419.74 in past medical expenses; $152,516.84 in future medical expenses Demand: $750,000 […]

Dec 4, 2020

Plaintiffs lack standing to contest construction project

Where plaintiffs seek to enjoin construction of a distribution center located near their homes, they lack standing to do so because they have not alleged particularized injuries arising from the construction.  Plaintiffs are granted leave to amend their complaint to allege such injuries. However, several counts of the complaint allege speculative injuries. Those counts are […]

Sep 16, 2019

Claims possible despite intervening bankruptcy

Although the plaintiff failed to list her potential tort claims on her bankruptcy schedule, that omission does not necessarily preclude the plaintiff from bringing those claims if the district court concludes on remand the omission was the result of a mistake or inadvertence. Background Years after entering into a settlement that released certain tort claims, […]

Jul 18, 2019

Lawyer, client penalized for suing after settlement

A Hanover County judge imposed a $4,000 sanction against the seller of a small business and the seller’s lawyer who settled with the buyer over delinquent payments and then sued again. The dispute involved the current and former owners of a crossroads café near Hanover Courthouse. Houndstooth Café of Hanover LLC sold its interest in […]

Jul 15, 2019

Defendant gets attorney’s fees after plaintiff’s nonsuit

The court will award defendant the sanction of a $4,000 attorney’s fee pursuant to Code § 8.01-271 after granting plaintiff’s motion to nonsuit. “Defendant’s motion for attorney’s fees … is granted. Defendant is awarded her reasonable attorney’s fees in the amount of $4,000.00 from plaintiff and plaintiff’s counsel jointly and severally payable within 30 days […]

Aug 31, 2017

Fee award is 10 times judgment

A Virginia Supreme Court ruling this year that attorney fees do not necessarily have to be proportionate to recovery has been given a bold underline by a new circuit court decision in Hanover County. Guided by a springtime opinion from the state justices, Hanover County Circuit Judge J. Overton Harris this summer allowed a prevailing […]

Oct 19, 2015

Plaintiffs claim earlier C-section would have prevented brain injury – Defense Verdict

The plaintiff mother, 39 weeks pregnant, presented to the hospital for an elective induction of labor on the evening of Aug. 9, 2011. Electronic fetal monitoring was initiated upon admission and continued throughout labor. The defendant OB/GYN treated the mother. Cervidil was placed and the patient was monitored throughout the night. Her membranes ruptured spontaneously […]

Jul 27, 2015

Suppression Granted For Traffic Stop Delay

A police officer who stopped a car for speeding and for no other reason illegally extended the scope of the stop when he began asking the car’s occupants about drugs and permission to search, and the Hanover Circuit Court suppresses marijuana found in an unlabeled pill bottle in a passenger’s purse. The commonwealth argues that […]

May 29, 2015

Buyer Claims Seller ‘Diverted’ from Fraud

Plaintiff LLC has stated claims that defendants fraudulently induced it to perform a real estate purchase agreement by false representations regarding the nature and amount of real estate taxes and special assessments, and acted to divert plaintiff’s attention from the false representations; the Hanover County Circuit Court overrules defendants’ demurrer and plea in bar. The […]

May 26, 2015

Court Crossed Line on Plea Deal

A trial judge went too far in his efforts to persuade a defendant to accept a plea agreement that would spare him  a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence on a heroin charge, rather than a 10-year mandatory minimum, and the 4th Circuit vacates defendant’s conviction and remands the case for consideration by a different trial judge. […]

Mar 30, 2015

Bait & Switch? High court considers use of initial appraisal in road condemnation case

The Supreme Court of Virginia is considering the effect of what one lawyer called a “bait-and-switch tactic” used by the state highway department in road condemnation cases. The court could decide whether a jury in an eminent domain trial can be told about the state’s “pre-offer statement of value,” an early appraisal of the value […]

Mar 4, 2015

‘Offer’ Is Not Party Admission on Value

The Commissioner of Highways’ written offer to purchase rights of way on respondents’ property cannot come into evidence as a party admission at a condemnation trial, but the Hanover Circuit Court will allow a real estate appraiser to offer an expert opinion on valuation of the residue of respondents’ property after the taking. Dennis W. […]

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