Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Sovereign Immunity

Jail cell with door opening
Jul 3, 2023

Court rejects commonwealth’s ‘misunderstanding’ of VTCA

The Court of Appeals of Virginia has affirmed a trial court’s denial of the commonwealth’s plea for sovereign immunity from liability under the Virginia Tort Claims Act, or VTCA, for the negligent conduct of its employees. The commonwealth claimed that the VTCA didn’t waive immunity where the allegedly tortious conduct arises from the performance of […]

Aug 29, 2022

FTCA suit barred by sovereign immunity

A federal court in Virginia has dismissed the claim of a woman who entered a naval base and was injured when a guard activated a security barrier. Judge Mark S. Davis of the Eastern District of Virginia found the woman’s Federal Tort Claims Act, or FTCA, claim was barred by sovereign immunity, because the guard’s […]

Doctor in white coat holding stethoscope
Aug 1, 2022

Sovereign immunity offers protection for doctor who treated DADC inmate

The Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed a lower court’s ruling concluding that a doctor who treated inmates in a Virginia correctional center was protected by derivative sovereign immunity. The state’s high court also granted the doctor’s demurrer to a gross negligence claim, affirming the lower court’s judgment that the claim was “insufficiently pleaded.” The doctor […]

Internal Revenue Service
Apr 25, 2022

IRS can’t be sued for negligent refund processing

Where the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, negligently deposited a tax refund into a fraudulent account despite being warned in time to stop it, a taxpayer’s negligence suit was barred by sovereign immunity. The government moved to dismiss on the grounds that issuing refunds is related to the “assessment or collection of taxes,” which is […]

Apr 4, 2019

Fairfax County blocks suits with sovereign immunity

The county attorney’s office in Fairfax has three notches on its belt with recent wins using the sovereign immunity defense. In three different injury claims, judges in Fairfax and Alexandria have extended the protection of the doctrine of sovereign immunity to Fairfax County employees, including police officers in two cases. The doctrine is a “harsh […]

Verdicts & Settlements

See All Verdicts & Settlements

Opinion Digests

See All Digests