Judge Leonie M. Brinkema

Nov 8, 2022

Companies awarded over $1.4M in attorneys’ fees

Where the court previously found a company was liable for fees and costs incurred by two other companies in responding to a hepatitis A virus outbreak, the prevailing companies were awarded more than $1.4 million in attorneys’ fees. Background This action arises out of a 2016 outbreak of hepatitis A virus linked to consumption of […]

Aug 15, 2022

Parole Board adequately explained denial of parole

Where the Parole Board explained that it denied parole to the detainee because of the “serious nature and circumstances of [his] offense,” its conclusion that he should “serve more of [his] sentence prior to release on parole” and that to grant parole at that time would “diminish the seriousness of [his] crime,” that was constitutionally […]

Aug 8, 2022

Constitutional challenge of school COVID policy fails

All claims filed by parents challenging a now defunct Fairfax County Public School’s COVID quarantine policy have been dismissed by a Virginia federal court. The parents’ primary argument was that the policy violated equal protection because it treated their unvaccinated children differently from their vaccinated classmates. But Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the Eastern District […]

Aug 1, 2022

Equal Protection attack on school COVID policy fails

Where parents argued that a Fairfax school policy violated the Equal Protection Clause by treating their unvaccinated children differently from their vaccinated classmates, but the defendants relied on public health experts like the CDC in developing their quarantine policy, the equal protection claim failed. Background Eric and Jenny McArthur and their four minor children challenge […]

Jun 16, 2022

Effort to set carjacking conviction aside fails

Where a man used a gun to carjack a van carrying Peloton bicycles, his motion to set aside the jury convictions for Hobbs Act robbery, carjacking and use of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence were denied. Background On Aug. 25, 2021, Douglas Damon Whitley and Kindal Robinson, who reside together and […]

Jun 3, 2022

Tainted strawberry provider liable for hepatitis damages

Where the provider of strawberries responsible for a hepatitis A outbreak claimed indemnification from the purchaser of the strawberries, the provider’s claim was denied because the court already held it must indemnify the purchaser, the strawberries did not satisfy specifications and there was no evidence the purchaser was negligent. Background This litigation arises out of […]

Jun 3, 2022

Sheriff deputies defeat excessive force claim

Where the undisputed facts showed that the plaintiff actively resisted Loudoun County sheriff deputies who were arresting him for failing to appear for a court appearance, the deputies acted reasonably and were granted summary judgment. Background Douglas Vaughn filed his complaint in May 2019, and named two defendants: Loudoun County sheriff deputies Justin Denton and […]

May 19, 2022

Polo association defeats claims by player accused of bullying

Where a polo player was investigated for allegedly directing a racial slur toward a minor and then bullying him, but was cleared of the charges, his subsequent defamation, breach of contract and emotional distress claims against the investigating organization were dismissed. Background The amended complaint alleges that the United States Polo Association or USPA, defamed […]

Apr 19, 2022

Refusal to reinstate PCT application arbitrary

Where the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, refused to reinstate the plaintiffs’ patent cooperation treaty, or PCT, application after they paid the required fees, that was arbitrary and capricious. The office had granted relief to at least three PCT applicants seeking cancellation of withdrawals when they showed they had not received the […]

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Apr 11, 2022

‘Inflexible and unforgiving’: Pavlov dogged by arbitrary USPTO decisions

In a case that “should give pause to those who engage in […] patent prosecution,” the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” when it repeatedly refused to reinstate an application initially filed with an incorrect address. Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia saved an international […]

Mar 28, 2022

Government employee’s discrimination claims fail

Where a Department of State auditor alleged he was not selected for an assignment because of his race, color and sex, but the evidence showed there were legitimate business reasons for choosing someone else, including giving the opportunity to an auditor not previously deployed and who was not the same GS level, the government prevailed […]

Mar 14, 2022

Former Navy seaman can’t change dishonorable discharge

Where a Navy seaman who was charged with improperly touching a three-year old signed a probation agreement in which he admitted that he “committed the offense charged,” his challenge to the denial of his request to upgrade the status of his discharge for misconduct failed. Background James R. Heuss filed this civil action against the […]

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