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Lester v Allied Concrete Order

Lester v Allied Concrete Order

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Published by Todmund Cole

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Published by: Todmund Cole on Dec 29, 2011
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09/28/2013

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VIRGINIA:
IN
THECIRCUITCOURTOF
THE
CITYOFCHARLOTTESVILLEISAIAHLESTER,Administrator
of
theEstate
of
Jessica
Lynn
ScottLester,deceasedPlaintiff,
v.
ALLIEDCONCRETE
COMPANY
andWILLIAMDONALDSPROUSE,Defendants.andISAIAHLESTER,Plaintiff,
v.
ALLIEDCONCRETE
COMPANY
and
WILLIAM
DONALDSPROUSEDefendants.
ORDER
CaseNo.CL.08-1S0CaseNo.CL09-223
On
the27thday
of
May,2011,cametheparties,IsaiahLester("Lester"),Administrator
ofthe
Estate
of
JessicaLynnScottLester,
by
hiscounsel,MalcolmP.McConnell,III,Esq.("McConnell"),andDefendantsAlliedConcreteCompany("Allied")
and
WilliamDonaldSprouse,
by
theircounsel,DavidM.Tafuri,Esq.("Tafuri"),RoryE.Adams,Esq.,JohnW.Zunka,Esq.,Richard
H.
Milnor,Esq.andJohnM.Roche,Esq.and
came
thebeneficiaries,GaryC.Scott
and
JeannineScott,
by
theircounsel,JosephA.Sanzone,andcameMatthewB.Murray,Esq.("Murray")
by
hiscounsel,ThomasWilliamson,Esq.andMarlinaSmith("Smith")
by
hercounsel,
M.
BryanSlaughter,Esq.andMalcolmP.McConnell,III,Esq.
1
 
("McConnell")
by
hiscounsel,Robert
T.
Hall,Esq.forahearinguponDefendants'PostTrialMotions,includingMotionsforSanctionsagainstMatthew
B.
MurrayandIsaiahLester,andDefendants'Post-TrialMotionforMistrialforNewlyDiscoveredJurorBias.Aftercarefulreview
of
therecordinthiscase,including,
but
notlimitedto,deposition,trialandhearingtranscriptsandaccompanyingexhibits,legalmemorandaandarguments
of
counsel,theCourtherebyrendersthefollowingfindingsandconclusions:
ProceduralBackground
1.
Thesecivilactions,seekingmonetarydamagesforpersonalinjuriesandwrongfuldeathfromanaccidentwhichoccurred
on
June21,2007,wereconsolidatedfortrialinthisCourt
by
virtue
of
anOrderdatedAugust
3,2009.
2.
PlaintiffLesterallegesthattheDefendants,AlliedandSprouse,werenegligent
in
causinganaccidentwhichresultedinthedeath
of
JessicaLynnScottLester,Lester'swife,andwhichcausedinjurytohimself.3.LesterfiledsuitasAdministratorandbeneficiary
of
his
wife's
estate,
as
wellas
on
hisownbehalfforinjuriessuffered
in
theaccident
of
June21,2007,andhasnamedasadditionalstatutorybeneficiariestheparents
of
JessicaScottLester,GaryC.ScottandJeannineScott.
4.
Soonafterthecaseswereconsolidated,disputesoverdiscovery-relatedissuesanddisagreementsbetweencounselintensified,resulting
in
theCourtgrantingDefendants'initialMotionforContinuance.Asthesecondtrialdateapproached,DefendantsfiledaSecondMotionforContinuance,premised
in
parton
Plaintiff
sfailuretodisclosethecontents
of
Lester'sFacebookaccount.Inahearingon2
 
March3,2009,relatingtothatmotion,MurrayaccusedTafuri,co-counselforDefendants,
of
"hacking"intoLester'sFacebookaccount.
5.
DenyingMurray'saccusationsregardinghacking,DefendantsfiledaMotionforSanctionsagainstMurrayunderVirginiaCodeSection8.01-271.1andRule4:1(g)
of
theRules
of
theSupremeCourt
of
Virginia.
6.
AssertingthatMurrayhadnotcompliedwithcertaindiscoveryrequests,specificallyRequest
No.1
0
of
Defendants'FourthInterrogatoryandRequestsforProduction
of
Documents,whichsoughtthecontents
of
Lester'sFacebookaccount,DefendantsfiledaMotiontoCompelPlaintiffstofileacompleteresponse.
7.
FollowingaMay14,2009
oretenus
hearing,theCourtenteredanOrderonJune28,2010,inwhichtheCourtfoundthat"[r]easonableinquirybyPlaintiffscounsel[Murray]wouldhaverevealedthattherewasnoreasonablegroundforsuchchargesbasedonthefactsavailabletohim,"andthatsuchunfoundedaccusationsviolatedVirginiaCodeSection8.01-271.1aswellasRule4:1(g)
of
theRules
of
theSupremeCourt
of
Virginia.Murraywasorderedtopayreasonablecostsandattorneys'feesassociatedwithdefendingthegroundlessaccusationsandprosecutingthemotionforsanctions,thetotalsumtobedeterminedatalaterdate.
l
8.
DiscoveryprogresseduntilAugust18,2010,whenDefendantsfiledaMotionforSanctionsforPlaintiffsSpoliation
of
Evidence,allegingdeliberatedestruction
of
1
ThissanctionwillbeheardwithrespecttocostsandfeesduealongwithremainingissuestoberesolvedatthehearingonSeptember23,2011.
3

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