Wrongful death claims are inherently complex for both sides, and in many situations it takes a jury trial to determine fault and if an employer or insurance company needs to provide compensation to the victim’s family. However, in some situations, the facts of the case are fairly clear-cut, allowing for what’s called a “summary judgment.”

When plaintiffs in auto accident cases approve an offer for damages from defendants or their insurance companies, they will likely be obligated to accept the terms, even if new information arises. On January 15, the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands issued an opinion stating that the plaintiff in a recent lawsuit cannot challenge a settlement originally agreed upon with the auto insurance provider GEICO. 


Continue Reading Superior Court Rules in Favor of Defendant to Enforce Settlement Agreement

A case stemming from the use of a right of way on commercial property in St. Thomas. In November of 2000, Parcel No. 14 Estate Contant was divided into four parcels.  Parcel No. 14A was purchased by Gejan, Inc., Parcel No. 14B was purchased by Hubert King, and Parcel No. 14C was purchased by Alexius Perkins.   Parcel No. 14D was granted to the three as tenants in common to use as a private right of way.   


Continue Reading Easement not Easy for St. Thomas Companies to Interpret

Forum non conveniens is the discretionary power of a court to decline its jurisdiction in cases where another court may more conveniently hear a case. As the U.S. Virgin Islands is roughly 1000 miles from the U.S. mainland, an individual or company faced with litigation may see this doctrine arise.  The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals handled the question in a case involving parties from foreign countries.


Continue Reading What is Forum Non Conveniens and is it Important?

A declaratory judgment is a court judgment which sets out the rights of parties but without ordering any action or awarding damages. Courts will entertain this motion to stop controversies with a clarification of the law at the initiation of a lawsuit instead of waiting until both parties have presented their arguments.  For instance, a corporation may request a court to decide if a new tax is applicable to their business before the company pays it.


Continue Reading Arbitrator’s Decision on Procedural Issue Stands in Hotel Case

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(1) concerns a court’s subject matter jurisdiction to hear a case. You can not just bring a lawsuit where you want against someone because you want to. If a judge decides that a plaintiff doesn’t have standing or the proper connection to an injury, the court will not have jurisdiction to hear the case and must dismiss it.   


Continue Reading Standing Needed to Bring Suit in Federal Court for the U.S. Virgin Islands