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Kohn v. Marquis

Supreme Court of Virginia

September 12, 2014

PATRICIA KOHN, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF JOHN KOHN, DECEASED
v.
BRUCE P. MARQUIS, ET AL

FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF NORFOLK. Mary Jane Hall, Judge.

Affirmed.

L. Steven Emmert (James C. Lewis; Sykes, Bourdon, Ahern & Levy; Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Duffan, on briefs), for appellant.

Wayne Ringer, Chief Deputy City Attorney (Bernard A. Pishko, City Attorney; Heather A. Mullen, Deputy City Attorney, on brief), for appellees.

PRESENT: All the Justices

OPINION

S. BERNARD GOODWYN, JUSTICE.

In this appeal, we consider whether the circuit court erred in granting summary judgment to the defendants on a plea in bar

Page 756

which asserts that the plaintiff's action is barred by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act.

Background

Patricia Kohn (Kohn), the wife of John Kohn (John), is the administrator of her husband's estate. In a wrongful death complaint filed in the Circuit Court of the City of Norfolk, Kohn asserted that John died as the result of multiple blows to the head inflicted between September 20, 2010 and December 9, 2010, during his training to become a City of Norfolk police officer. She alleged that the simple and gross negligence of Norfolk Police Department Chief Bruce P. Marquis and Senior Assistant Chief Sharon Chamberlin, as well as the gross and willful conduct of Leldon Sapp, Stephen Bailey, L.L. Tessier and Michael Reardon, who were Norfolk Police officers and instructors at the Norfolk Police Academy, caused John's death (all defendants will be collectively referred to as " the City" ).

The City filed a plea in bar alleging that Kohn's exclusive remedy is under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act, Code § 65.2-100 et seq. (Act). Kohn requested a jury trial on the plea in bar, and the circuit court granted Kohn's request. However, before the trial on the plea in bar, the City moved for summary judgment on its plea based upon Kohn's pleadings and her responses to requests for admissions and interrogatories. After a hearing, the circuit court granted the City's motion for summary judgment on the plea in bar and dismissed the case with prejudice. Kohn appeals.

Facts

John started training at the Norfolk Police Academy as a recruit on September 20, 2010. According to Kohn's complaint, at various times between September 20, 2010 and December 9, 2010, John was repeatedly and violently struck in the head during training. She asserts that these repeated ...


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