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U.S. District Court - Western District

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 […]

Oct 31, 2023

Expert disqualified because of conflict of interest

Where the attorney for a former student who alleged that defendants failed to protect him from sexual abuse committed by his former teacher reasonably believed she entered into a confidential relationship with a potential expert, and shared confidential and privileged information with the expert, the expert was disqualified from serving as an expert witness for […]

Shoppers carrying bags at mall
Oct 30, 2023

No excessive force used in arrest of 14-year-old girl

The Western District of Virginia has dismissed claims against a city and arresting officers after a 14-year-old girl was injured during an arrest when she refused officers’ commands and fought back while police were dealing with teenagers fighting in a mall.

Oct 23, 2023

Disability insurance benefits claim denied

Where an administrative law judge explained his reasoning for discounting a doctor’s opinion, and sufficiently discussed the claimant’s kidney disease, his decision that the claimant was not disabled was affirmed. Background Garnett H. filed this action challenging the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security finding him not disabled and therefore ineligible for disability [&helli[...]

Oct 23, 2023

Detainee alleges officials failed to protect him

Where a detainee alleged that correctional officials left his cell door open despite knowing that neighboring inmates had violent histories, that he was subsequently assaulted by another inmate and that the assault resulted in a serious injury, his failure to protect claim survived the officials’ motion to dismiss. Background Raymond Michael Cobb was an inmate […]

Oct 23, 2023

Jail director defeats deficient supervision claim

Where a detainee alleged the Director of Support Services failed to adequately supervise the medical department, resulting in him being denied adequate medical treatment, but the director did not have the authority to prohibit or approve a particular medication or course of treatment and regularly corresponded with medical staff when issues related to the detainee […]

Oct 23, 2023

Detainee didn’t exhaust religious practice claims

Where a detainee failed to administratively exhaust his claims of retaliation, harassment and that he was denied a Nation of Islam, or NOI, religious study guide, and did not argue that he was prevented from doing so through no fault of his own, defendants were granted summary judgment on these claims. Background Malcolm Muhammad, a […]

Oct 23, 2023

BLM leader’s suit against law enforcement dismissed

Where the president of Black Lives Matter Shenandoah Valley sued Augusta County law enforcement officials after they twice arrested him during protests, but the officers had a probable cause for the arrests because the man was violating a county noise ordinance, his suit was dismissed. Background In December 2022, Antwhon Suiter, appearing pro se, filed […]

Oct 23, 2023

Damages determined in condemnation action

Where the landowner did not have any admissible evidence to prove diminution of value resulting from the taking of a portion of her property for the construction of a natural gas pipeline, the assessment by the contractor’s expert as to the amount of just compensation owed to the landowner was accepted. Background Mountain Valley Pipeline, […]

Oct 23, 2023

Police acted reasonably in detaining teen girl

Where a 14-year-old girl sued police officers because of a physical altercation that ensued after she refused to obey their directions, but the officers acted reasonably, they were granted summary judgment. Background The events at issue arise out of a series of violent fights between feuding high-school students that broke out throughout the River Ridge […]

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