Griffin v. Areva, Inc.
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION: granting 19 Motion for Attorney Fees; and adopting 28 Report and Recommendation in its entirety. Plaintiff's objections are overruled. It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that attorneys 039; fees are awarded to Defendant Areva, Inc. and against Plaintiff Dr. W.A. Griffin in the amount of $14,712.50. Postjudgment interest at the rate of 0.86 percent shall be computed daily to the date of payment and shall be compounded annually. Signed by Judge Norman K. Moon on January 12, 2017. (sfc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA
CASE NO. 6:16–cv–00029
JUDGE NORMAN K. MOON
When dismissing the merits of this case, the Court found that Plaintiff had engaged in
frivolous, vexatious, and wasteful litigation that had no good faith basis, and it therefore ruled
that Defendant should receive attorneys’ fees. (See, e.g., dkt. 17 at 9–11 (Opinion); dkt. 20
(Show Cause Order); dkt. 22 (Sanction Order)). The determination of the amount of fees was
referred to Magistrate Judge Robert Ballou for a report and recommendation. (Dkt. 22 at 3).
Judge Ballou has issued his report, in which he recommends Plaintiff be ordered to pay
$14,712.50 in attorneys’ fees. (Dkt. 28). Plaintiff filed objections (dkt. 29), and the matter is
now ripe for review.
Plaintiff’s objections continue a pattern of obstinate refusal to acknowledge that she, and
she alone, is responsible for her current predicament by repeatedly engaging in bad faith and
frivolous litigation. She complains that “not once did [Judge Ballou] consider [her] ability to pay
such an outrageous legal fee award or consider the extreme financial injury that it would place on
her already-struggling medical practice.” (Dkt. 29 at 1). Yet Plaintiff submitted insufficient
evidence of her own financial struggles (even assuming they could otherwise excuse the
consequences of her conduct).1 Rather, in a characteristic denial of the baselessness of her legal
As explained by Defendant (dkt. 30 at 4–6), the cases Plaintiff cites are not on point.
theories, Plaintiff summarily asserts she is in dire financial straits due to a “bad streak of luck,”
which in point of fact is simply a consequence of her previous, frivolous lawsuits:
Over the past three years, Dr. Griffin has been devastated by a bad streak of luck
after filing more than twenty four ERISA lawsuits between Georgia, Florida,
Missouri, Michigan, and Virginia. In addition to the bad streak of luck, she has
been saddled with legal fees she cannot afford to pay in full. Judge Amy
Totenburg, in [the U.S. District Court for Northern Georgia], has already placed
four sanctions on Dr. Griffin.
(Dkt. 29 at 2). Elsewhere she notes that the reason she “started suing was to obtain payments
that she is rightfully owed,” yet she simultaneously admits that “[e]very single effort has been
unsuccessful.” (Dkt. 29 at 4 (emphasis in original)). Plaintiff also submitted two, one-page
summary affidavits from employees who state that they have not received raises or retirement
contributions from Plaintiff “[o]ver the past couple years.” As Defendant observes, the affidavits
do not explain the reason for the salary freezes and, even if they did, “Dr. Griffin’s medical
practice is not the Plaintiff here—Dr. Griffin, in her individual capacity” is. (Dkt. 30 at 3).
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s objections are OVERRULED.
Judge Ballou’s report and
recommendation of December 15, 2016 (Dkt. 28) is ADOPTED in its entirety. Defendant’s
motion for attorneys’ fees (dkt. 19) is GRANTED. It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and
DECREED that attorneys’ fees are awarded to Defendant Areva, Inc. and against Plaintiff Dr.
W.A. Griffin in the amount of fourteen thousand, seven hundred twelve dollars and fifty
cents ($14,712.50). Postjudgment interest at the rate of 0.86 percent shall be computed daily to
the date of payment and shall be compounded annually.
Entered this ________ day of January, 2017.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?