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Judge James P. Jones

May 26, 2022

School principal offers evidence of FMLA retaliation

Where a former high school principal offered an affidavit from a school board member saying he was told she was demoted because she took leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, the school board’s summary judgment motion on a retaliation claim was denied. Background Lila Jean Jenkins, a former public high school principal, […]

May 26, 2022

Suit dismissed over administrative technicality

Where a former Town of Abingdon employee exhausted her administrative remedies, but her complaint failed to allege that she had done so, and the court could not rely upon the extrinsic evidence showing exhaustion, the suit was dismissed with leave to replead. Background In this employment discrimination case, Stacey Lynn Reichler asserts claims against her […]

May 19, 2022

Class conditionally certified in FLSA ‘rounding’ suit

Where plaintiffs alleged their employer underpaid hourly employees by rounding time entries, and offered affidavits showing they worked the same or similar hours, performed the same or similar duties and operated the same or similar equipment as all putative subclass members, a class was conditionally certified. Background Charlie Stacy and Clifford Allen filed this class […]

May 19, 2022

Supplemental notice by mail to potential class allowed

Where the court previously allowed plaintiffs asserting claims for unpaid overtime to send notices to potential class members via U.S. Mail, but the response rate has been significantly below typical opt-in rates, the plaintiffs can now send reminder notices by U.S. Mail. But their request for notice to be provided via email and text message, […]

Terminated employee leaving workplace
May 9, 2022

Wrongful termination suit dismissed

A lawsuit alleging discrimination and wrongful termination lodged by a former executive of a Southwest Virginia bank against her previous employer was dismissed by a federal judge last month. Senior U.S. District Judge James P. Jones of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia granted New Peoples Bank’s motion for summary judgment […]

Apr 28, 2022

Bank prevails on former executive’s bias claims

Where a former bank executive claimed she was terminated because she was “a strong-willed woman” and a Catholic, but her termination was part of a reduction in force based on cost and job performance, the bank is granted summary judgment. Background Mary Yolanda Trigiani asserts claims against her former employer, New Peoples Bank Inc., under […]

Apr 27, 2022

Forest Service ordered to supplement record

Where the Forest Service relied upon experts’ views and other material in crafting a final rule, but then omitted this material from the administrative record on the basis it was irrelevant, it was ordered to supplement the record. Background Various environmental and conservation entities, suing under the Administrative Procedures Act or APA, challenge a final […]

Apr 19, 2022

Police had probable cause to seize man for evaluation

Where a man’s wife called 911 after receiving several disturbing text messages from him, including that he had a gun in his mouth and was “going to end this,” the police found at least one firearm while searching his home and the officers found him lying in what looked like a shallow grave, they had […]

Police dog standing with K9 officer
Apr 18, 2022

No qualified immunity: Excessive force claim against K-9 officer proceeds

A K-9 officer who ordered his dog to attack a man who had mental health issues without any evidence he was actually resisting can be sued for excessive force, a U.S. District Court has ruled. The court declined to find that qualified immunity barred the plaintiff’s claims of excessive force, assault and battery, holding that […]

Apr 4, 2022

Reconsideration of False Claims Act dismissal denied

Where the court previously granted Walgreen Co.’s motion to dismiss a False Claims Act suit and related state claims, the government’s motion for reconsideration was denied because it failed to show the prior decision was wrong and its arguments could have been made during the initial briefing on the motion to dismiss. Background In this […]

Mar 14, 2022

Employee can’t show hostile environment because of sex

Where a former elementary school cafeteria manager alleged a school custodian perpetuated a hostile work environment, but there was no showing that his alleged conduct was based on her sex, the school board was granted summary judgment. Background Judy A. Atkins worked as the cafeteria manager at Atkins Elementary School in Smyth County, Virginia, from […]

Mar 14, 2022

Parts of potentially incriminating statements must be redacted

Where co-defendants in a murder case who were not testifying at trial made statements about a stabbing incident, the portions that were potentially incriminating to the defendant were redacted. Background German Hernandez is charged with conspiring to commit murder and attempting to commit murder of another detainee. At issue are statements made by detainees Carlos […]

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