Student Wrongfully Arrested after ABC Clash Sues for $40M
The University of Virginia student arrested when Alcoholic Beverage Control agents mistook water for beer is suing for $40 million.
According to the Daily Progress, the 12-count complaint against the state and seven named agents was filed in Richmond Circuit Court.
ABC agents arrested 20-year-old Elizabeth Daly in April 2013 after they thought she bought beer at Harris Teeter in the Barracks Road Shopping Center. It turns out it was sparkling water.
Daly said the officers who approached her and her roommates in the parking lot were showing unidentifiable badges and scared them. She had planned to talk to them through the window, but that required starting the car. This caused the officers to react, and one of them even drew a gun.
The women started to drive away and called 911. The operator eventually confirmed the officers were legitimate and Daly was arrested. You can read Daly's original account of the incident here.
Prosecutors dropped the charges two months later and her record was expunged in October.
In the new filing, Daly says the busted sting has left her with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"Plaintiffs always ask for at least as much money as they think they will get. $40 million - I don't think it's likely that they will get a verdict anywhere near that large but it certainly is possible that there could be a significant verdict," said NBC29 legal analyst Lloyd Snook.
Snook says it's likely the government will now respond saying its agents acted in good faith, which could be the next step in the court proceeding.