Virginia: Special Cases – A Lawyer’s Distress

Virginia: Special Cases – A Lawyer’s Distress

By unanimous Opinion on April 15, 2021, the Virginia Supreme Court found that a plaintiff’s “evidence of emotional distress alone, without any evidence of monetary damages, [is] sufficient to support the jury’s award [of ‘compensatory and punitive damages’].” The personal injury case is Northern Virginia Kitchen Bath & Basement, Inc. v. Ellis, Record No. 200335. “[W]e conclude that [Plaintiff’s] testimony describing how [Defendant’s] conduct made him feel intimidated, harassed, threatened, and humiliated was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict and thus the circuit court’s approval of the damages awards was not plainly wrong.” Id. at 12. “[W]e find no error in the circuit court’s judgment that the evidence, consisting solely of mental anguish, emotional distress, and humiliation, was sufficient to support the jury’s award of compensatory damages”. Id. The jury in Ellis awarded $100,000.00 in compensatory damages and $150,000.00 in punitive damages for a total of $250,000.00. Id. at 4-5.