UVA student’s suit against ABC moves to federal court

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A case of La Croix water like the one Daly was carrying. Photo: Amazon.com A case of La Croix water like the one Daly was carrying. Photo: Amazon.com

Early this week, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office approved the transfer of the $40 million civil suit filed by a UVA student against the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to federal court. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the suit filed in Richmond Circuit Court last month by Elizabeth Daly, now a 21-year-old third year, will proceed in the U.S. District Court in Richmond under Judge Henry E. Hudson.

Daly, who is from Henrico County, is suing the state and seven agents of the ABC for false arrest, malicious prosecution, and assault and battery for an incident that occurred in a Barracks Shopping Center parking lot one year ago. Daly’s formal complaint states that ABC agents wrongfully arrested her and her friends on charges of underage possession of alcohol when in fact they were only carrying bottled water, and that the methods of her arrest were excessively forceful and in violation of ABC policy, including the withdrawal of a firearm and the use of a flashlight as an offensive weapon in attempts to break into her car.

Daly also accuses the arresting officers of withholding key information of the incident during her prosecution, including the fact that ABC officers were made aware by police over the phone that Daly and her friends did not realize at the time the individuals who approached them and beat on their vehicle were ABC officers.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder Daly claims to have suffered as a result of the incident, and which has allegedly caused her regular trouble sleeping, anxiety, and panic attacks.—Matthew Fay

  • Thomas Kelo

    I feel bad for what happened to this girl, and I am glad that it actually prompted a change in policy with the VA ABC (although even better would be to abolish the VA ABC entirely), but seeking $40M is pure greed. She has been letting too many lawyers whisper in her ear. How about being an agent for change rather than just trying to set yourself up for life because one bad thing happened to you. Bad things happen to people all the time, and they don’t get $40M at taxpayer expense.

    Spare your reputation and settle the suit for $10k or so and move on with your life.

    • RandomThoughts

      I agree with your sentiment about abolishing the VA ABC .

      I disagree that this girl should back off in the least. With such gross misconduct from the officers in the parking lot that evening , the prosecutor(s) malicious intent to protect their own with no regard to destroying this girls personal life I say she should not back down.

      What I feel we need is legislation that puts mandatory minimums on civil right violations and a path to hold all public servants personally liable in cases of gross misconduct.

      This case needs to sting and sting hard for citizens to wake up and see the over-reaching , over funded and abusive Police State monstrosity we have created.

      • shootmewiththatluvgun

        Exactly right she should make not only that agency, but every other government official take notice. Making them pay is the only way to do that.

        Not only should public servants be personally liable for civil damages, any official who violates someone’s civil rights should have to face at least a year of mandatory jail time. Undermining the Constitution is akin to treason and should be punished severely.

  • UVAcoverups

    I am totally baffled by the entire incident. The Frats at UVA serve alcohol to minors week in and week out yet VA ABC jumped on this unsuspecting student for buying water. She should sock it to them for as much as she can. I understand that $40m is a lot of money but anything less and the State will not feel the pain. I know its the taxpayer paying but in the short run it comes out of the State budget. They have to jack up taxes to cover for this but that’s not as easy as it used to be.

    As for the Commonwealth Attorney, he should be ashamed of himself for involving himself in this case. He should have petitioned the court to expunge her record.

    Think of all the UVA victims of sexual assault who have been re-victimized, marginalized and silenced by UVA and by the lack of any type of law enforcement in Charlottesville over the decades who have deliberately chosen to turn a blind eye. That’s a major law suit coming down the pike and these fools in government have their heads in the sand if they think nothing will come of it. What will be the cost to the local and state taxpayers? $40m? It will be much more than that because there are hundreds of victims.

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