SCOVA Refuses to Incorporate Prior Discovery Rulings from Previous Non-suited Action

By: Terrence L. Graves.

In Temple v. Mary Washington Hospital, Inc., et al., Record No. 131754 (Sept. 12, 2014), the Supreme Court of Virginia opined on an obscure, yet significant, issue related to the common practice of incorporating discovery by court order in subsequent actions where the plaintiff nonsuited its original action. Jo Ann Knighten Temple, as Administrator of [...]


Harman v. Honeywell International

By: Doug Winegardner.

The Supreme Court of Virginia’s recent opinion in Harman v. Honeywell International, Inc., Case No. 130627 (June 5, 2014) contains a wealth of analysis on a number of evidentiary rules that every trial lawyer will likely encounter in his or her career.  This legal alert summarizes each of the Court’s rulings on those issues and [...]


Virginia’s Privity of Contract Defense Continues to Protect Defendants in Economic Loss Cases

By: Will Watkins.

I am often told by clients that they are protected from a lawsuit because they have a corporation.  The advice I usually give them is that while the corporate shield is strong it does not protect them if they are negligent and cause injury or damage, even if it is during working hours.  While that [...]


Selective Way Ins. Co. v. Schulle, Western District of Virginia 2/5/14

By: Ian Lambeets.

Author:  Sarah Warren Smith The Western District of Virginia reaffirmed the standard for production of information during discovery, as well as the importance of fair mediation, in its recent decision of Selective Way Insurance Co. v. Schulle.  Selective Way filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination of its obligation to defend or indemnify its [...]


Judge Sets Aside $3 Million Jury Verdict because Expert’s Testimony is Baseless

By: Ian Lambeets.

By: David Boyce Recently, in Cross v. Spears, CL 12-436, a Martinsville Circuit Court judge set aside a 3 million dollar jury award and ordered a new trial based on a ruling that the plaintiff’s toxicologist’s opinion testimony was “totally lacking in scientific factual foundation.”  After attending a NASCAR race in Martinsville, Virginia, the plaintiff, Cross, was struck by a [...]


Virginia Supreme Court Clarifies the Law on Defamation

By: Ian Lambeets.

By: Ian Lambeets On October 31, 2013, the Virginia Supreme Court published its opinion in Cashion v. Smith, et al.  This opinion provides invaluable guidance on the elements of and defenses to defamation claims. In Cashion, an anesthesiologist sued a trauma surgeon and a hospital for defamation and defamation per se based on statements made [...]


Court of Appeals leaves nearly all hours-of-service regulations intact

By: Ian Lambeets.

By: David G. Boyce In the words of Alabama, “Roll on eighteen-wheeler, roll on” but be certain to heed the newly upheld hours-of-service regulations.  The Court of Appeals’ recent decision in American Trucking Association Inc. v. FMCSA (find the full opinion here) “brings to an end much of the permanent warfare surrounding the [hours-of-service] rules” [...]


Revamping the DSM-5: What This Means for Defense Attorneys

By: Ian Lambeets.

 By: Ian Lambeets The American Psychiatric Association’s recent changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) provide another arrow in the quiver for plaintiffs seeking recovery for psychological injury.  These changes are especially relevant to insurers and businesses defending against personal injury claims where posttraumatic psychological disorders are at issue.   Defending against [...]


Top 5 Things-to-Know About Notifying Claimants of Settlement Payments

By: Chip Delano.

By: Robert B. “Chip” Delano, Jr. As many insurers are already aware, Virginia law now requires insurers to notify claimants and judgment creditors of all full and partial settlements over $5,000.  The law applies to all lines of insurance except those subject to Code § 38.2-4214 and 38.2-4319 and applies to both first and third [...]


Limited Tort Reform Passes Virginia Assembly

By: Ian Lambeets.

By: Stephen E. Baril & William A. Grey Virginia‘s 2013 General Assembly session has now concluded.  A package of Tort Reform bills met with mixed results—some passing, and other’s failing.  The bills that did pass (discussed below) will impact civil practice in Virginia, and should be of interest to business and insurance clients.  Of particular [...]