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U.S. District Court - Western District

Miniature house on top of design blueprints
Nov 13, 2023

‘Grossly out of proportion’: HOA can’t tear down noncompliant homes

The Western District of Virginia held that it would be “grossly out of proportion” to allow a homeowner’s association, or HOA, to destroy three homes that were built without approval of its architectural review board that didn’t exist at the time.

Doctor preparing to administer vaccine
Nov 6, 2023

‘Hyperbolic opposition’ to vaccine views not actionable

A doctor’s claims that a Washington Post article defamed him have been dismissed by the Western District of Virginia because the challenged statements regarded a matter of public concern and weren’t made with actual malice.

Nov 6, 2023

University awarded costs after defeating retaliation suit

Where the court previously granted Liberty University’s motion for summary judgment on the basis that a former employee did not engage in protected activity, Liberty University was awarded its requested costs, other than the cost of a private process server. Background After this court awarded summary judgment in favor of Liberty University, it filed a […]

Nov 6, 2023

Court can’t dismiss specific remedy under Rule 12(b)(6)

Although the plaintiff improperly included a request for attorney’s fees in a suit for negligence arising from a motor vehicle accident, the defendants’ motion to dismiss that request was denied because Rule 12(b)(6) does not permit the court to dismiss a specific remedy sought in a complaint, such as a request for attorneys’ fees. Background […]

Nov 6, 2023

Ex-employee claims drugmaker defrauded government

Where a former employee plausibly alleged that a drugmaker violated the False Claims Act, or FCA, by fraudulently reporting to the government the best price of a prescription drug subject to such reporting, but she failed to plead facts showing these defendants presented any claims to the government for reimbursement, she will have an opportunity […]

Oct 31, 2023

Guard dismissed from excessive force suit

Where the factual allegations in a detainee’s excessive force suit demonstrated that a guard’s use of force was reasonable under the circumstances, and that the detainee did not suffer any serious injury, the guard was dismissed from the suit. Background Jonathan Edward Davis brought this suit against the New River Valley Regional Jail Authority, the […]

Oct 31, 2023

Jail dodges detainee’s excessive force claim

Where a detainee alleged that a prison guard had “at least two previous instances involving violence against inmates,” these allegations were insufficient to demonstrate that the alleged excessive force by the guard against the detainee was “widespread” and “so frequent in occurrence” as to imply constructive knowledge and infer a custom by the jail. Background […]

Oct 31, 2023

Superintendent dismissed from detainee’s suit

Where a detainee sued a jail superintendent for injuries the detainee allegedly sustained as a result of an encounter with a guard, but there were no specific factual allegations that the superintendent knew or should have known about the unconstitutional conduct of the jail’s officers, he was dismissed from the suit. Background Jacob Dylan Green […]

Oct 31, 2023

Court won’t order owners to destroy houses

Where a homeowners’ association argued the court should order homeowners to tear down houses allegedly built in violation of the association’s covenants and restrictions, the court refused. Demolition of their homes would be grossly out of proportion with the relief sought. Background Thomas Jefferson Crossings Homeowners’ Association Inc., or TJCHOA, sued Mansour Etemadipour and Nick [&hell[...]

Oct 31, 2023

Court dismisses suit by disgruntled students

Where several students at Liberty University sued for a refund of various fees and room and board they paid for a semester when the school was closed because of COVID-19, but the named plaintiffs had been refunded more than their claimed damages, that mooted their claims. Background In this putative class action, several students at […]

Oct 31, 2023

Ex-business partners each claim other breached contract

Where parties who were formally in a business relationship alleged the other breached a 2019 contract, but there were multiple disputed issues of material fact over breach, waiver and damages, both parties’ motions for summary judgment were denied. Background Makina ve Kimya Endustrisi Kurumu AS, or MKE, sued Kutlay Kaya, Zenith Quest Corporation, Zenith Quest […]

Oct 31, 2023

Court refuses to tax costs related to failed defense

Where a defendant moved to recover its costs after it prevailed on an employee’s claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment, or ADEA, but some of the costs were incurred on an affirmative defense that the Fourth Circuit rejected, those costs were denied. Background After this court awarded summary judgment in favor of defendant Liberty […]

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