In Adams v. American Optical Corp. the Fourth Circuit held that Virginia’s two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims barred the plaintiff-appellant’s (Adams) allegations regarding his diagnosis of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), also known as black lung. Under Virginia law, the statute of limitations begins to run when the injury is sustained and “not when the resulting damage is discovered.” Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-230. The court found that because there was some undisputed evidence that proved to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that Adams developed CWP more than two years before filing his suit, any disputes concerning the importance of particular pieces of medical evidence were immaterial and thus, there was no genuine dispute that Adams developed CWP outside the limitations period.

In Sicaran v. Barr, the Fourth Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the petitioner’s arguments that she belonged to certain social groups, to gain asylum, under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The petitioner failed to raise those arguments before the Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals and, therefore, the Fourth Circuit concluded that the petitioner’s claims were not exhausted.

In Wise v. Circosta, the Fourth Circuit held that it was improper to grant an injunction to extend the deadline of absentee ballots for the general election in North Carolina, stating that where there is a close issue of state law, the federal court should abstain from federal intervention into local affairs.