Judge James P. Jones

Jun 6, 2023

Postal employee’s claims survive motion to dismiss

Where the lawsuit was filed within 90 days of the employee’s receipt of a determination of her second complaint, and that complaint alleged a hostile work environment, the continuing violation doctrine may allow her to overcome any objection as to time-barred discrete acts, so long as all acts are part of the same unlawful employment […]

Jun 5, 2023

Official can’t dismiss claims arising out of detainee’s death

Where a lawsuit alleged that a correctional officer was present during assaults by his fellow officers on a detainee, the officer’s motion to dismiss the gross and willful and wanton negligence claims was denied. The complaint plausibly alleged the officer had a duty to protect the detainee and that the harm was foreseeable. Background The […]

May 2, 2023

Officer liable for warrantless entry, arrest and search

Where there were no exigent circumstances allowing warrantless entry into a man’s apartment, the entering officer wasn’t entitled to qualified immunity. And because the arrest and search of the man was unlawful, the man was granted summary judgment, with a jury to determine the amount of damages. Background This case arises from the warrantless entry […]

May 1, 2023

Lack of medical evidence makes cross-examination relevant

A vocational expert who opined that a truck driver was “vocationally 100 percent disabled” may be cross-examined about his failure to consider the driver’s vision difficulties when calculating his work life expectancy, the Western District of Virginia has held. Arguing that there wasn’t any medical evidence to support an inference that his visual dysfunction reduced […]

Apr 24, 2023

Court allows cross-examination at trial

Where the plaintiff in a personal injury suit testified that he now has difficulty driving a truck, which was his former profession, but his expert apparently failed to consider this testimony in opining as to the man’s worklife expectancy, defense counsel may cross-examine the expert about this issue at trial. Background Billy Joe Rice, a […]

Apr 11, 2023

Detainee claims officials retaliated against him

Where the parties disputed whether prison officials retaliated against a detainee after he filed grievances and lawsuits, the officials’ motion for summary judgment on these claims was denied. Background Gary Wall, a Virginia detainee proceeding pro se, filed this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging various violations of his constitutional rights. Twenty-four […]

Apr 3, 2023

Wife awarded shareholder distribution from business

Where the wife showed that she was a shareholder with her estranged husband in their podiatrist business, and that he made distributions to shareholders in September 2021 but that she failed to receive any distributions, she was entitled to 50.2% of the distributions. Background Renee Mason, a Doctor of Podiatry, has sued her estranged husband […]

Mar 20, 2023

Claims narrowed in detainee’s suit

Where a detainee alleged that officials at his prison were negligent by not providing him with accommodations for his mobility problems, such as a ladder to access his assigned top bunk, but security officials have discretion regarding inmates’ bunk assignments, the claim was barred by the discretionary function exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act’s […]

Feb 26, 2023

Southwest Virginia utility not entitled to immunity

Although the Virginia General Assembly created BVU Authority, or BVUA, to provide various utility services to residents in three localities in Virginia, and the Commonwealth exercises control by dictating who sits on its board and limits certain of the board’s powers, the BVUA isn’t entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity as an arm of the state. […]

Feb 1, 2023

Ex-spouses dispute if wife is shareholder of business

Where a man sued by his estranged wife for allegedly breaching his fiduciary duties and converting property belonging to their joint business argued the wife lacked standing because she wasn’t a shareholder of the company, but it was disputed whether the wife paid for the stock, what the company’s books showed and how a jury […]

Jan 5, 2023

Bristol, VA, sued by Bristol, TN, over municipal landfill

Where the City of Bristol (Tennessee) alleged that the City of Bristol (Virginia)’s operation of a municipal landfill supported a claim for public nuisance, Bristol Virginia’s motion to dismiss was denied. Although the Virginia city argued the common-law claim had been abrogated by statute, the court disagreed. Background The City of Bristol, Tennessee has sued […]

Dec 5, 2022

Homeowner didn’t timely replace fire-damaged house

Where an insurance policy required a homeowner to replace his damaged property within two years from the date of the fire, but the homeowner waited more than two years before purchasing a replacement house and did not tell the carrier until another two years elapsed, he was not entitled to replacement cost benefits. Background Ray […]

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