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Norfolk Police Recruit's Wrongful Death Case May Get Its Day in Court

Posted on Mar 05, 2014

There may be a day, in the near future, when the wrongful death case of John Kohn - a police recruit who died after repeated blows to the head by a police instructor during training - will get its day in court.

The Supreme Court of Virginia agreed to hear a lawsuit brought against the City of Norfolk by Mr. Kohn's widow.

John Kohn was a police recruit for the City of Norfolk who died in December 2010 during training. There is video evidence of a police instructor repeatedly punching Mr. Kohn in the head during a self-defense training session. The Kohn family believes that these vicious blows to Kohn's head may have caused his death.

An autopsy report said that the multiple punches could be considered a contributing factor to Mr. Kohn's death.

A Circuit Court Judge, Mary Jane Hall, ruled in May 2013 that the lawsuit could not proceed under the Virginia Workers Compensation Act because it was an injury caused by accident in a work environment.

Jim Lewis, one of the attorneys representing the Kohn family, filed an appeal with the high court to get a ruling on whether the case should proceed to a jury trial. 

"We are pleased that the Virginia Supreme Court decided to hear the case and I am confident justice will prevail," said Lewis. 

Steve Emmert, another attorney for the Kohn family, stated that he expects arguments to be made in June or September and is hopeful that a ruling will be made by the court this year on whether the case can proceed to trial, according to the Virginian Pilot.

Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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