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Thread: UVA student sues the ABC - does she have a case?

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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    UVA student sues the ABC - does she have a case?

    Brandishing, apprehension, and fear: is the ABC liable?

    U.Va. student sues state, ABC agents for $40 million
    A University of Virginia student charged with assaulting two Virginia ABC agents attempting to stop her for the underage purchase of beer that turned out to be sparkling water has filed a $40 million suit against the state and seven agents.

    ...

    After one agent drew a handgun and another jumped on the car hood she said she panicked, unsure they were really agents, and fled the scene in her car grazing two of the agents. The charges were later dropped, and her record was expunged.

    Among other things the 47-page suit, filed Tuesday in Richmond Circuit Court, alleges malicious prosecution, failure to train ABC agents appropriately, and six counts of assault and battery.

    ...

    The suit alleges that Daly has suffered from a tremor in her right hand, intense anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems as a result of the April 11 incident.
    I don't doubt she was traumatized (unlike the Henrico bus driver).

    So, does she have a case?

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    Brandishing, apprehension, and fear: is the ABC liable?

    U.Va. student sues state, ABC agents for $40 million


    I don't doubt she was traumatized (unlike the Henrico bus driver).

    So, does she have a case?
    From what I read, yes. There was no indication she had beer other than a beverage about the same size. They did assault her, drew a weapon when she had none.....they are in hot water. I'll also bet she can but beer by the time it gets heard and the State will settle with a gag order to keep the details quiet.

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    she'll get some cash and the cops will get promotions .. everyone's happy

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    Regular Member BillB's Avatar
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    VA needs to get out of the liquor business and let the private sector own and operate the stores. Maybe this suit will help towards that end. I think the gal has a case.
    Open carry lets you tote a bigger gun.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillB View Post
    VA needs to get out of the liquor business and let the private sector own and operate the stores. Maybe this suit will help towards that end. I think the gal has a case.
    This incident occurred at a privately owned convenience store where beer can be legally sold.

    See no fallout from this case that would help to privatize ABC stores.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

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    Regular Member BillB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    This incident occurred at a privately owned convenience store where beer can be legally sold.

    See no fallout from this case that would help to privatize ABC stores.
    The suit is against VA ABC agents, most of whom I suspect would go away if the ABC stores did.

    Do you think it's OK from a role of government perspective that VA is in the liquor business?

    How does the idea of state owned and run gun stores for all gun sales other than .22 rimfire sound?
    Last edited by BillB; 03-27-2014 at 07:24 AM.
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    Absolutely not as to the state - ABC is a state agency, the claim is not negligence (as to which the Tort Claims Act would apply), but intentional torts. So ABC is covered by sovereign immunity.

    As to the specific agents, they're going to get the benefit of "qualified immunity" if they were on duty and can make any kind of argument at all that they were motivated by "probable cause". No question their actions were way over the top, and they should probably be screened for mental health disorders - I'd say a TDO would be appropriate - but they're probably not civilly liable.
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    Absolutely not as to the state - ABC is a state agency, the claim is not negligence (as to which the Tort Claims Act would apply), but intentional torts. So ABC is covered by sovereign immunity.

    As to the specific agents, they're going to get the benefit of "qualified immunity" if they were on duty and can make any kind of argument at all that they were motivated by "probable cause". No question their actions were way over the top, and they should probably be screened for mental health disorders - I'd say a TDO would be appropriate - but they're probably not civilly liable.
    Well...there goes my theory out of the window.

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    On this particular item,

    I believe the phrase "No comment" is appropriate for me. ;>)

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I try to learn a little more from each incident like this but to be honest, it's hard to have hard policies in a world where the people in charge don't follow the rules. I've heard people say that the officers were lucky they didn't behave that way with someone that's armed or that they should have been run over.

    If I'd have seen a badge or heard police shouted, I'd have probably given up just because of this type of thing.

    The bottom line is, the way our system is today, if one of them had been hurt or killed you have two choices. Try to get to Venezuela before you get caught or stay and hope you get a sympathetic Jury and they seem to be in short supply these days.

    It's a shame that we've let things slip to the level where these people face no consequences for their actions and innocent people really have no idea how to react.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    Absolutely not as to the state - ABC is a state agency, the claim is not negligence (as to which the Tort Claims Act would apply), but intentional torts. So ABC is covered by sovereign immunity.

    As to the specific agents, they're going to get the benefit of "qualified immunity" if they were on duty and can make any kind of argument at all that they were motivated by "probable cause". No question their actions were way over the top, and they should probably be screened for mental health disorders - I'd say a TDO would be appropriate - but they're probably not civilly liable.
    So you are suggesting that the State is going to advance the notion that trained liquor-law enforcement officers with years of experience and familiarity in observing and identifying various alcoholic beverage containers developed probable cause when they saw her coming out with a cardboard case in her arms?

    Just for giggles, would anybody like to suggest which brand(s) of beer come in cardboard cases with such similarity to the one she was carrying that mistaken identity could result in observing said cardboard container?

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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    With a good, no, great lawyer, like Gerry Spence, the state would settle out of court for half. Otherwise, the state wins. Any in-state lawyer would be a disaster for the plaintiff.
    Last edited by Maverick9; 03-27-2014 at 11:33 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Isn't underage possession a civil offense?

    Either way, yeah, she has a case. I'd throw the book at 'em. They'd never be employed again.

    Jumping on car hoods? What is this, Rob Pincus Day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by va_tazdad View Post
    I believe the phrase "No comment" is appropriate for me. ;>)
    Hah! Are you sure you don't want to weigh in?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillB View Post
    The suit is against VA ABC agents, most of whom I suspect would go away if the ABC stores did.

    Do you think it's OK from a role of government perspective that VA is in the liquor business?

    How does the idea of state owned and run gun stores for all gun sales other than .22 rimfire sound?
    If ABC sales were privatized, guess what we would still have. Ans: Liquor stores. So that would not decrease the number of agents. In fact it might well increase the need.

    That and I think a majority of their present time is probably spent on checking liquor by the drink establishments, retail beer sales and illegal alcohol.

    Virginia has considered getting out of the liquor business a number of times. So far that has not been accomplished. See the revenue (profit) such sales generate for the Commonwealth is part of the problem/consideration.

    No, I do not think that the state should have a monopoly on any product sold to the public. Did you really need to ask that question?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick9 View Post
    With a good, no, great lawyer, like Gerry Spence, the state would settle out of court for half. Otherwise, the state wins. Any in-state lawyer would be a disaster for the plaintiff.
    Gerry Spence is a great showman, has a nifty jacket....I can't say anyone called him a great lawyer except Gerry Spence.
    He wins cases because he only takes winable cases.
    Last edited by peter nap; 03-27-2014 at 01:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    If ABC sales were privatized, guess what we would still have. Ans: Liquor stores. So that would not decrease the number of agents. In fact it might well increase the need.

    That and I think a majority of their present time is probably spent on checking liquor by the drink establishments, retail beer sales and illegal alcohol.

    Virginia has considered getting out of the liquor business a number of times. So far that has not been accomplished. See the revenue (profit) such sales generate for the Commonwealth is part of the problem/consideration.

    No, I do not think that the state should have a monopoly on any product sold to the public. Did you really need to ask that question?
    18 studies over 40 years have all said the same thing. If the state privatizes, the Commonwealth will loose revenue. Last year, that was over $324 Million. All counties and municipalities benefit from the refunds and police officers that the ABC fund and the whole budget for Mental Health is funded by the ABC "profits".

    No governor has been willing (Except Wilder, and he got caught trying to buy some of the stores while he was in office) to give up the cash cow.

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    Regular Member BillB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by va_tazdad View Post
    18 studies over 40 years have all said the same thing. If the state privatizes, the Commonwealth will loose revenue.
    That's right it's because of the revenue that VA is still in the liquor business. I know it's somewhat of a pipe dream, but maybe one day we'll get some politicians that will reduce the size of government and save the same amount or more that it would lose by privatizing the ABC stores. Additionally, since VA's ABC Department is a revenue generator, I believe it has far more agents than it needs and if the revenue were no longer there most of the ABC's revenue agents would not be there either.
    Last edited by BillB; 03-27-2014 at 03:30 PM.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillB View Post
    That's right it's because of the revenue that VA is still in the liquor business. I know it's somewhat of a pipe dream, but maybe one day we'll get some politicians that will reduce the size of government and save the same amount or more that it would lose by privatizing the ABC stores. Additionally, since VA's ABC Department is a revenue generator, I believe it has far more agents than it needs and if the revenue were no longer there most of the ABC's revenue agents would not be there either.
    Same answer as in post #15 - repeating your premise doesn't make it valid.

    The funding for the VSP is not dependent on their ability to generate revenue, but on perceived need for enforcement. Believe the same will hold for ABC.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member BillB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Same answer as in post #15 - repeating your premise doesn't make it valid.

    The funding for the VSP is not dependent on their ability to generate revenue, but on perceived need for enforcement. Believe the same will hold for ABC.
    I guess you and I will just have to disagree here. VSP could be doing everything the ABC agents do, especially if the ABC Department were not in the liquor business.
    Last edited by BillB; 03-27-2014 at 04:33 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    Absolutely not as to the state - ABC is a state agency, the claim is not negligence (as to which the Tort Claims Act would apply), but intentional torts. So ABC is covered by sovereign immunity.

    As to the specific agents, they're going to get the benefit of "qualified immunity" if they were on duty and can make any kind of argument at all that they were motivated by "probable cause". No question their actions were way over the top, and they should probably be screened for mental health disorders - I'd say a TDO would be appropriate - but they're probably not civilly liable.
    I would like to think the case could advance at least as far as discovery.

    "Qualified Immunity" here in the Fourth Circuit has been quite organic, constantly evolving (see e.g., Bellotte v. Edwards). This could get interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillB View Post
    That's right it's because of the revenue that VA is still in the liquor business. I know it's somewhat of a pipe dream, but maybe one day we'll get some politicians that will reduce the size of government and save the same amount or more that it would lose by privatizing the ABC stores. Additionally, since VA's ABC Department is a revenue generator, I believe it has far more agents than it needs and if the revenue were no longer there most of the ABC's revenue agents would not be there either.
    Actually, the agency has 30 agents less than they are authorized and need. Some rocket scientist tried to roll the Enforcement division into the State Police until they realized that would not save any money and the agents would be turned into nothing more than radar ticket machines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    Absolutely not as to the state - ABC is a state agency, the claim is not negligence (as to which the Tort Claims Act would apply), but intentional torts. So ABC is covered by sovereign immunity.

    As to the specific agents, they're going to get the benefit of "qualified immunity" if they were on duty and can make any kind of argument at all that they were motivated by "probable cause". No question their actions were way over the top, and they should probably be screened for mental health disorders - I'd say a TDO would be appropriate - but they're probably not civilly liable.
    What gets me is that implicit in the above scenario, if that is how this case goes, is that pulling a gun on an unarmed suspect that you have no reason to believe is a danger to anyone is okay. That officers should be trained to do so. Pointing a firearm at someone who is not an apparent threat should be criminal, no matter who does it. It is sad we have gotten to this state of acceptance of deadly threat over minor incidents being not just okay, but practically the suggested method.

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    Last edited by arentol; 03-27-2014 at 05:26 PM.

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    Regular Member BillB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by va_tazdad View Post
    Actually, the agency has 30 agents less than they are authorized and need.
    Authorized I'll buy, need I won't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillB View Post
    Authorized I'll buy, need I won't.
    And that is less than they used to have. Do you actually understand what the Enforcement agents do? I doubt it.

    But it is your right to disagree. This is still America, at least until NObama and his minions destroy it.

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