UVA student’s suit against ABC moves to federal court

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