Docket – October 30, 2018

Court of Appeals of Virginia

Paramont Coal Co. Va. LLC v. McCoy (P), CAV (Decker) from WCC.

Medical documents submitted by a workers’ compensation claimant support an award of benefits based on his permanent total disability based on pulmonary loss. The claimant’s medical evidence conflicted with a different medical opinion offered by the employer to the effect that the claimant didn’t suffer pulmonary function loss sufficient to qualify for permanent disability benefits. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the claimant, as the prevailing party before the Commission, the record supports the Commission’s factual finding he could not perform manual labor in a dusty environment.

Affirmed.

Midgette v. Commonwealth (P), CAV (Malveaux) from Va. Beach (Patrick).

Collateral estoppel didn’t bar the appellant’s perjury prosecution, and the trial court didn’t err in allowing a witness to testify as to the ultimate issue in the trial. The trial judge’s statement that he “had to go by the video,” in context, is not a finding as to the video’s accuracy and authenticity. Further, the appellant’s false testimony, not the video’s accuracy, was the ultimate issue in the perjury trial. By contrast, testimony about the video’s accuracy was an evidentiary fact useful to the court in deciding the ultimate fact in issue — whether the appellant testified untruthfully when he stated the video was an accurate depiction of the traffic stop.

Affirmed.

Wright v. Commonwealth (U), CAV (Beales) from Franklin (Perdue).

The circuit court was plainly wrong in finding evidence sufficient to support the defendant’s guilt for larceny. Guilt depended on inferences about a videotape’s accuracy and date, because not only was the video not admitted into evidence but neither was any evidence about when the video was taken. The circuit court must have also inferred that the items the appellant placed in his pocket were items that belonged to the store and were worth some value. Making one inference based only upon another inference is an impermissible means to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Reversed and final judgment.

Young v. Commonwealth (U), CAV (Annunziata) from Portsmouth (Melvin).

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by allowing testimony despite one material witness’s brief conversation with another, after they had been sequestered for the trial. The trial court also reasonably concluded that the appellant made false statements on the time sheets causing her employer to make fraudulent claims to Medicaid, leading to the appellant receiving money for more work than she rendered. Evidence supports the appellant’s Medicaid fraud convictions.

Affirmed.

U.S. District Court – Virginia Western

Tolle v. Pocketsonics Inc., WDVA at Charlottesville (Conrad).

Despite signing a release of claims, a veteran survives the defendants’ motion to dismiss based on the release.

A veteran’s subjective understanding or motivation is only one of several factors that may bear on the determination of whether a release agreement was more beneficial to the veteran than maintaining his USERRA rights. Other potentially relevant factors include the particular terms of the agreement, the extent to which the veteran was involved in negotiating the agreement, whether the veteran obtained the advice of counsel, and a comparison of how the employer treated similarly-situated non-veteran employees. Here, the defendants are not entitled to dismissal or summary judgment based on the Release Agreement.



Categories: Daily Dockets

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