Case Caption: Government of the Virgin Islands, et al. v. Amorite ConnorCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2013-0095Date: 02/24/2014Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

In a case brought by the estate of a decedent against Government of the Virgin Islands and the Department of Public Works, the Superior Court erroneously invoked 1 V.I.C. § 4-a statute effectively repealed through the Legislature's adoption of 4 V.I.C. § 21 in 2004 -in entering judgment for the plaintiff in a mechanistic and uncritical application of provisions in the Restatements of the Law of Torts and Agency, without conducting the multi-part analysis required by this Court's decision in Banks v. International Rental & Leasing Corp., 55 V.I. 967, 979 (V.I. 2011) and subsequent case law. The judgment is summarily reversed pursuant to V.I.S.CT. I.O.P. 9.4 and the case is remanded to the Superior Court for further proceedings. On remand, the Superior Court should determine, on the record, the appropriate common law rules by first ascertaining whether any Virgin Islands courts have previously adopted a particular rule, then identifying the position taken by a majority of courts from other jurisdictions, and finally determining which approach represents the soundest rule for the Virgin Islands. The Superior Court is empowered to alter any of its prior holdings in the underlying action to the extent it concludes that consideration of these factors does not support its previous reliance on the Restatements. Upon issuance of a new final judgment, either party may return this matter to this Court through the filing of a new notice of appeal.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion