Docket – October 17, 2018

U.S. District Court – Virginia Eastern

Antekeier v. Lab. Corp. of Am. Inc., EDVA at Alexandria (Ellis/Buchanan).

The court awarded almost $400,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs to a plaintiff who prevailed in a Family & Medical Leave Act retaliation claim against her former employer. A jury awarded her $233,730 in damages. The magistrate judge recommended this fee award based on the Vienna Metro matrix for appropriate hourly rates and made deductions for mixed litigation results, excluded experts, and unnecessary mock jury preparation and trial technology costs. The district judge adopted the magistrate’s opinion in full. Inc. v. Visocky, EDVA at Alexandria (Brinkema). sued several individuals and websites for reproducing its online content in order to entice Overstock customers to unwittingly enter their personal or financial information on the defendants’ websites. After no defendant appeared at a default judgment hearing, the court entered default judgment against almost all of the individual defendants, but found that Overstock failed to state a claim against websites, i.e. domain names sued as the individuals’ alter egos.

U.S. District Court – Virginia Western

United States v. Wright, WDVA at Harrisonburg (Dillon).

Officers had probable cause for a warrantless vehicle search regardless of whether a drug-sniffing dog was reliable. The Jeep was owned by a person with an active warrant for charges of narcotics distribution, and it had just left a residence under active surveillance for drug activity. However, the court suppressed one statement the defendant made while in handcuffs before receiving Miranda warnings, finding that the length of her detention exceeded the scope of a routine traffic stop or Terry stop.

Motion to suppress denied in part; granted in part.

Virginia Circuit Courts

City of Norfolk v. Va. Dep’t of Env. Quality, Norfolk Cir. (Lannetti).

The court declined to reconsider its previous ruling that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality had served a Final Decision granting appropriate variances to Select Recycling Waste Services Inc. for a recycling/recovery facility. Because the City of Norfolk didn’t present any evidence that proper service had not been made, VDEQ’s prima facie evidence of service was uncontested and therefore prevailed.

Motion to reconsider denied.

Denisenko v. Sentara Hosps., Norfolk Cir. (Hall).

The court denied Sentara’s claim that it had no duty to protect one emergency-room patient from another’s unprovoked attack. Although the hospital didn’t assume a duty to control the other patient despite his known history of aggression and violence, the plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to establish that the hospital did have a duty to protect him from foreseeable harm.


Categories: Daily Dockets

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