Bennett v. Garner (P)

Contrary to the district court’s holding, the appellant’s claims against his former employer were not precluded under Virginia’s doctrine of res judicata. Seeking to collect on a state-court judgment, he couldn’t have brought the claims at the time of his earlier litigation.

The appellant’s claims are brought solely in execution of his state court judgment. Instead of seeking to re-litigate the defendants’ liability under the parties’ agreement, the appellant argues that his fraudulent transfer claims were an attempt to collect on the judgment he is owed and couldn’t have been brought before the judgment was entered. The appellant need not be clairvoyant enough to amend his original complaint whenever he suspected that the defendant was moving money to avoid paying a potential judgment. He was not required to try to enforce his judgment before the judgment was awarded.

With respect to his alter-ego claim, the appellant similarly could not have maintained that claim before obtaining the judgment against the employer.

Vacated and remanded.

Bennett v. Garner (P), No. 18-1531, Jan. 16, 2019. 4th Cir. (Keenan) from EDVA at Alexandria (Hilton).

Categories: 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Opinions, Published

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