Federal judge dismisses state from $40M lawsuit filed by UVA student

Posted at 12:44 PM, Jun 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-03 13:52:56-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A federal judge dismissed the state from a $40 million lawsuit filed by a 20-year-old UVa.student wrongly accused of buying beer.

Judge Henry Hudson heard arguments from both the state and one of the attorneys representing college student Elizabeth Daly. Daly, now 21, sued more than half a dozen agents with the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Daly was arrested in April 2013 following an undercover ABC operation in Charlottesville. State officers mistook her sparkling water, purchased inside a grocery store, for beer.

Daly's attorney argued the plain-clothed agents jumped his client, as she tried getting inside her SUV. As a result the lawsuit includes allegations of assault and battery against the officers.

Daly's attorney, James Thorsen, said the assault against his client -- although not physical-- resulted in a "mental injury."

Assistant Attorney General Catherine Hill fired back and said the nearly 50-page complaint from Daly was full of dramatization. Hill added Daly was the one in the wrong on April 11, 2013 when she resisted the agents and hit several of them with her SUV as she drove off.

Daly was arrested after the incident and charged with assaulting the officers she grazed with her vehicle. Those charges were later dropped.

The judge dismissed two of Daly's claims, where the state was named as failing to train and supervise ABC agents. However, several more counts remain against the seven agents named in the lawsuit.

Judge Hudson plans to issue an opinion on the remaining claims within two weeks.