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 [...]

 

Rule 3:22A: Expanding the Scope of Voir Dire

By: Ian Lambeets.

By: Ian Lambeets On January 1, 2013, a new rule passed by the Supreme Court of Virginia governing voir dire in civil trials took effect.  Rule 3:22A, in essence, will both expand and standardize the scope of questioning permitted during voir dire across all of Virginia’s circuit courts.  In the past, the scope of voir [...]

 

Uninvolved Defendants Must Be Aware of Default Judgment

By: Ian Lambeets.

By: Ian Lambeets On February 22, 2013, Judge Michael Urbanski from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia—Harrisonburg Division, rendered his opinion in the case of Parks v. Discount Box and Pallet, et a.l, No. 5:12cv081 (W.D. Va. Feb. 22, 2013).  At issue in the case was whether to enter a [...]

 

Insurance Coverage Under a CGL for Construction Defect Claims

By: Ian Lambeets.

By: Henry Spalding In my law practice, I am frequently called upon, at different times, to represent both builders and their insurance carriers in construction defect lawsuits.  Whether such claims are covered under a commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy raises a number of complicated questions.  This article will focus on some of the more common [...]

 

The Most Plaintiff-Friendly Jurisdiction in Virginia?

By: Erin McNeill.

     Among liability defense counsel and those in the liability insurance industry, the City of Richmond has a long standing, widely-held reputation as one of the most plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction in Virginia, with a higher likelihood of jurors finding liability and awarding a big judgment. However, the Virginia Lawyers Weekly published the results of their annual [...]