Judge Mary Jane Hall

Mar 28, 2023

No jurisdiction to hear ecclesiastical matter

Where plaintiff claims he was defamed by a church pastor, the court lacks jurisdiction over the case based on the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine. Background Rimer was a United Methodist Church (UMC) pastor. He sued defendant for defamation arising from two letters defendant sent to plaintiff’s superiors in the UMC organization, Reverend Kim and Bishop Lewis. […]

Structured settlement payments
Apr 25, 2022

Court rejects offer to buy structured settlement payments

A Virginia circuit court has denied a petition filed by a factoring company seeking to purchase structured settlement payments from a woman with neurocognitive impairments. The present value of the payments is $140, 738. The proposed purchase price? A mere $10,000. “It is difficult to fathom many circumstances in which a person’s best interests are […]

Apr 18, 2022

Purchase of structured settlement payments denied

It is not in petitioner’s best interest to approve the sale of her structured settlement payments, which have a present value of $140,738, for $10,000. “The Court cannot determine that Petitioner’s best interests are served by her relinquishing to a factoring company 93% of the value of her structured settlement payments. The petition will be […]

Apr 11, 2022

Failure to file default does not bar foreclosure

Where a lender did not record a notice of default and acceleration as provided for in the promissory note, that did not prevent the lender from foreclosing on the property. Plaintiff refers to the recording requirement as a “precondition to foreclosure” but the deed of trust provides the lender with several options if there is […]

Nov 13, 2020

Oyer denied for party bus inspection certificate

Where plaintiff’s decedent was killed when she fell through an open or unsecured door on a moving party bus, a defense motion craving oyer of an inspection certificate for the bus is denying because plaintiff’s negligence claim does not arise from the certificate. A demurrer filed by the company that inspected the bus is sustained. […]

Jul 9, 2020

Defendant can withdraw murder guilty plea

Where it appears that defendant may not have been advised that his mere presence and consent to a robbery in which the victim was shot and killed did not make him a principle in the second degree, the court grants his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas to second-degree murder, using a firearm in commission […]

May 21, 2020

No double jeopardy in felon’s gun case

Defendant’s guarantee against double jeopardy is not violated by a second prosecution for being a violent felon in possession of a firearm because the act underlying this prosecution is different than the acts for which he was convicted in his first prosecution. In the first prosecution, defendant had multiple weapons at his residence on Jan. […]

May 21, 2020

Attorneys’ fees ordered as discovery sanction

Where plaintiff did not disclose, in response to defendant’s discovery request, a medical care provider he consulted for a second opinion in this medical malpractice case, plaintiff must pay defendant’s attorneys’ fees relating to the discovery violation. Background Plaintiff sued Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, alleging that Sentara’s nurses negligently managed his bladder in con[...]

May 11, 2020

Discovery misstep nets $21K in sanctions

Despite a “suspicious” omission of unfavorable medical information, a Norfolk judge refused to hobble a medical malpractice case because the plaintiff and his lawyer dragged their feet in supplementing discovery responses. The defendant hospital claimed there was a “blatant abuse of the discovery process,” but the plaintiff’s lawyer – in an affidavit – described only […]

Apr 29, 2020

Severance damages opinions excluded in easement case

Where a shipyard claims a natural gas company’s pipeline, constructed on an easement over the shipyard’s property, entitles it to severance damages, the court grants the gas company’s motion to exclude expert opinions on the amount of severance damages. Overview Virginia Natural Gas, VNG, constructed a pipeline on a permanent 30-foot easement over property owned […]

Sep 23, 2019

Woman sued over issues with breast reconstruction – Defense Verdict

Plaintiff underwent a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. She then underwent a two-stage breast reconstruction surgery using tissue expanders by the defendant plastic surgeon. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to provide alternative surgical options, such as autologous-tissue reconstruction, and failed to adequately advise her of the risks of the procedure. She alleged permanent weakness [...]

Oct 9, 2018

Hospital owed plaintiff duty to protect from attack

Despite the absence of facts demonstrating probable harm or specific threat, the court found a hospital did have a duty to a patient who was attacked by another patient in the emergency room. Background The complaint alleges that on Oct. 9, 2015, plaintiff, Gordey Denisenko, checked into defendant’s emergency room at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital […]

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