Wrongly arrested U.Va. student will get $212,000

7/31/2014, 1:46 p.m.

Virginia has reached a settlement with Elizabeth Daly in her $40 million lawsuit against several agents of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC.)

Under the terms of the agreement, Daly, a University of Virginia student who was arrested after her purchase of water was mistaken for beer, will receive a settlement of $212,500 and a letter from the ABC Board explaining the circumstances of her arrest for presentation to any future employers.

"My goal throughout this case has been to reach a resolution that is just and fair for all parties, including Ms. Daly, the ABC and its agents, and the Commonwealth and its taxpayers," said Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring. "After careful consideration of the potentially significant costs of taking this case to trial, I believe we have reached such an outcome.

Herring said the settlement between is not an admission of any wrongdoing by the ABC agents but going forward, new policies will ensure to prevent similar incidents.

"ABC agents do important work enforcing our alcohol laws and combating underage drinking, and the new policies and procedures implemented after this incident will help ABC effectively fulfill its mission while ensuring the safety of officers and the public," said Herring.

According to one New York lawyer, a false arrest violates federal law (the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution as enforced through 28 U.S.C. s. 1983) and many state laws. Under the federal law, a person who is falsely arrested is entitled to compensation for (1) loss of liberty, and (2) physical and/or emotional pain and suffering caused by the false arrest. (Injuries caused by excessive force and malicious prosecution are compensated separately.)

Importantly, a person who is falsely arrested is legally entitled to compensation for loss of liberty, even if he or she does not experience any additional physical or emotional pain and suffering.