Student gets $212,000 after bogus beer bust

Posted at 12:56 PM, Jul 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-31 14:22:46-04

RICHMOND, Va. --  The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control settled a lawsuit brought by a University of Virginia student confronted by agents who mistook her case of water for beer, according to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.

The state will pay Elizabeth Daly, now 21,  $212,000 to settle the multi-million dollar lawsuit she filed against agents who tried to stop her while she drove away from the store.

Elizabeth Daly

Elizabeth Daly

Daly, who was 20 at the time, was stopped outside a Charlottesville grocery store during an ABC sting that targeted at underage drinking in April 2013. The ABC board will also provide her with a letter explaining the circumstances of her arrest to any future employer.

During a June hearing in which a federal judge dismissed the state from Daly's $40 million lawsuit, her attorney argued the plain-clothed agents jumped his client, as she tried getting inside her SUV. As a result part of the lawsuit alleged assault and battery against the officers. Attorney James Thorsen said the assault was 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 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.

"My goal throughout this case has been to reach a resolution that is just and fair for all parties, inluding Ms. Daly, the ABC and its agents, and the Commonwealth and its taxpayers," Herring said in a statement. "After careful consideration of the potentially significant costs of taking this case to trial, I believe we have reached such an outcome.The Commonwealth and I wish Ms. Daly the very best in all of her future endeavors."

Herring said the settlement is not an admission of guilt by either party.