West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority v. Estate of Cody Lawrence Grove (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the orders of the circuit court denying Petitioners' respective motions to dismiss the amended complaint filed by the Estate of Cody Lawrence Grove for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, holding that the circuit court erred in several respects.
This appeal arose from the suicide of Groves during his incarceration at the Eastern Regional Jail, which was operated by the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility (WVRJCA). The Estate filed a complaint agains the WVRJCA and Joshua David Zombro (collectively, Petitioners), asserting seven causes of action. Petitioners filed a motion to dismiss, which the circuit court denied. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court erred by (1) incorrectly failing to apply the heightened pleading standard applicable to cases implicating qualified immunity; (2) failing to appropriately consider whether qualified immunity applied to shield Petitioners from suit; (3) failing to determine whether the WVRJCA is a state agency; and (4) failing to address punitive damages.