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Judge John A. Gibney Jr.

Feb 13, 2023

School didn’t discriminate against teacher

Where Richmond Public Schools failed to renew the probationary contract of an elementary school teacher because of her aggressive and argumentative conduct toward her superiors, her coworkers and patrons of the Richmond schools, it prevailed on her race discrimination claim.

Feb 4, 2023

Court tosses employee’s disparate treatment claim

Where a tester/trainer for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, asserted a claim for Title VII discrimination, but he failed to identify his protected class or any evidence of discriminatory intent, his disparate treatment claim was dismissed. Background Keith Alston worked as a part-time tester/trainer for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, or […]

Nov 29, 2022

Jury to decide unequal pay claim

Where the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, argued that a male permit writer was paid more than a female permit writer because of his prior salary, but the parties disputed whether DEQ’s disparate application of compensation policies to prospective employees of different sexes was based on a sex-neutral reason, a jury will decide […]

Nov 22, 2022

Jury to decide if official applied force maliciously

Where a detainee claimed a prison official grabbed him by the throat, slammed his head into the van and slapped him, while he was secured in handcuffs and leg restraints and therefore was only a limited threat to the security of the jail or other officers, the official’s motion for summary judgment was denied. Background […]

Nov 14, 2022

Foreign arbitral award confirmed

Where an arbitrator previously found that a Virginia-based company breached a delivery contract, the award was not invalid, the Virginia-based company had ample notice of and benefitted from multiple extensions to participate in the arbitral proceeding, the arbitration was focused only on the disputed contract, the parties were bound by the arbitral award and there […]

Oct 16, 2022

Agency accused of race discrimination

Where an African American immigrant from Togo alleged that the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or VDACS, promoted a white woman to a supervisory position, despite the fact he had the most seniority and was the most qualified, he plausibly alleged a claim for race discrimination. Background Ehonam M. Agbati has sued his […]

Oct 10, 2022

Federal jury to hear equal pay case

A federal jury will hear the case of three female geologists who claim the Virginia Department Environmental Quality, or DEQ, willfully paid men higher wages for work of equal skill, effort and responsibility. The DEQ argued that the plaintiffs failed to identify appropriate comparators and that summary judgment was appropriate because the salary differences were […]

Sep 30, 2022

Jail officials accused of failing to prevent attack

Where a detainee who was violently assaulted by two other detainees alleged that he was incarcerated under conditions which posed a substantial risk of serious harm and that jail officials each acted with deliberate indifference to that risk, his claims survived their motions to dismiss. Background In August 2019, two persons violently assaulted detainee Isiah […]

Sep 30, 2022

No jurisdiction over suit vs. unemployment commission

Where a man alleged that his due process rights were violated because the Virginia Employment Commission, or VEC, had not processed his November 2021 claim, but failed to establish the court had subject matter jurisdiction, his suit was dismissed. Background Michael J. Edwards Jr. filed a complaint on May 16 2022, alleging that his claim […]

Sep 26, 2022

Fraud claims against insurer avoid dismissal

A property insurer that refused to make advance payments after a devastating fire at a seafood processing plant and allegedly coerced the claimant into cooperating with an investigation into third parties can be sued for fraud. In Sustainable Sea Products International LLC, et al. v. American Empire Surplus Lines Ins. Co. and Great American Ins. […]

Sep 24, 2022

First Amendment protects ‘repugnant’ parody images

Where the defendant published videos and sold merchandise that depicted a man’s face on the hind end of an animal and on a cartoon body, those creations, while repugnant, are parody images protected by the First Amendment. Background Kathy Steele and Earth Intelligence Network, or EIN, sue Jason Goodman for defamation, business conspiracy and unauthorized […]

Sep 24, 2022

FCRA claim fails due to lack of damages

Where the plaintiff alleged that a company inaccurately reported his driver’s license number and state of issuance, but he only alleged emotional distress or wasted time damages in conclusory fashion, and his only economic damages were $1 in postage, the suit was dismissed for lack of standing. Background Ruhi Reimer sued LexisNexis Risk Solutions Inc., […]

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