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Westmoreland County Circuit Court

Apr 18, 2016

Defendant pulled out in front of truck going 45 mph – $725,000 Settlement

On Oct. 24, 2013, the defendant’s Ford F-150 pickup truck pulled from a stop sign di­rectly in front of the 1985 Ford flatbed work truck that was traveling at a speed of 45 miles per hour. A box of bolts weighing 20 pounds rammed into plaintiff’s left elbow when the trucks collided. On impact the […]

May 19, 2014

Husband liable for $8M in wife’s snowstorm death

Despite a medical examiner’s initial conclusion that a Westmoreland County woman committed suicide, a jury this month decided the woman’s husband was complicit in her 2010 death and awarded the wife’s estate $8 million. The result in the unusual civil action came despite the fact that no criminal charges have ever been filed against restaurateur […]

May 15, 2014

Jury finds husband was liable for wife’s death – $8,000,000 Verdict

On Feb. 5, 2010, the decedent, Sally Rumsey, went “missing” from her country home in Westmoreland County. Her husband, Stephen Andersen, claimed he was in the woods walking the dogs when his wife disappeared. He said that they had argued earlier in the day and decided to take some time away from each other. Nobody […]

Feb 11, 2014

Prosecutor, policeman are cleared of rights violations

A law school graduate’s civil rights claims against a prosecutor and a police officer arising from an attempted murder charge have foundered in federal court. The former law student, Peter S. Willis of Fredericksburg, spent a year in jail before being acquitted of all charges arising from a domestic confrontation, but he was unable to […]

Oct 22, 2013

Charitable Immunity Bars Church Slip & Fall Claim

A woman who fell and was injured after she left a church where she attended the funeral of a friend cannot sue the church for negligence; the Westmoreland County Circuit Court says the church has charitable immunity from the suit as plaintiff was a beneficiary of its charitable purpose. Plaintiff contends that because she was […]

Oct 14, 2013

Woman who fell after funeral can’t sue church

A woman who fell and broke her leg as she was leaving a funeral reception cannot sue the church even though she was not a member of the church or the decedent’s family, under the ruling of a Westmoreland County circuit judge. Judge Harry T. Taliaferro III dismissed the injured woman’s lawsuit based on the […]

Sep 16, 2013

Malicious Prosecution Claim Goes to Trial

In this suit for malicious prosecution, a grand jury finding of probable cause does not insulate a defendant who allegedly was not “truthful” in her complaints to police from liability for malicious prosecution; a finding of probable cause by a magistrate or grand jury may be pertinent or even convincing, but it is not dispositive […]

Aug 7, 2013

Civil rights claim against prosecutor goes forward

A Richmond federal judge has refused to throw out allegations of misconduct against a Virginia prosecutor in a civil lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was arrested and jailed for almost a year based on false accusations supported by trumped-up evidence. Acquitted of attempted murder and other charges by a Westmoreland County jury […]

Jan 17, 2011

Closed Meeting Violated FOIA

Local officials violate Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act when they went into a closed meeting for discussion of a proposed contract with a counterterrorism training company that wants to build a training facility and academy in the county, a Westmoreland County Circuit Court says. After the meeting, a request was made of Robert Fink, county […]

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