On Friday, May 29, 2009, Relman, Dane & Colfax won a jury verdict of $250,000 for an African-American couple whose landlord removed all their belongings while they were out of town and then burned them on the property of the home the couple had rented in Gordonsville, Virginia. After a four-day trial in the Western District of Virginia with fifteen witnesses testifying, the jury deliberated less than two hours before returning a verdict with $100,000 in compensatory damages each for the husband and wife and $50,000 in punitive damages against the Defendant. Essential to the evidence presented were photographs of the lifetime of possessions removed and burned, including a photograph of the landlord sitting in a lawnchair next to a heap of the ashes of the Plaintiffs' belongings.
Johns v. Stillwell, No. 3:07-cv-00063 (W.D. Va.).