VA LAW MAKERS – WOW, THE IDEAS JUST GET WORSE!

Here are additional laws I think stink…. Time I write my representatives to tell them so!

HB 221/ SB 232 – Kilgore/McDougle – Landlord and managing agent immunity for mold claims. Provides immunity for landlords and managing agents if they are in compliance with the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Managing agents can be held liable for affirmative acts of negligence. Any party who pleads a defense pursuant to this immunity shall be entitled to a hearing on the merits after limited discovery and before adjudication of the underlying claim.

HB501/SB 602 – Watts/Norment – Medical malpractice; professional services. Defines the term “professional services” in the context of medical malpractice actions as services provided to a patient by a health care provider pursuant to federal or state statutes or regulations. The bill also provides that the definition of “health care” includes professional services provided during a patient’s residency at a nursing home. This bill is in response to the Supreme Court decision in Alcoy v. Valley Nursing Homes, Inc., 272 Va. 37, 630 S.E.2d 301 (2006). Issue Paper Available

HB382 – O’Bannon – Medical advisory committees and consultants; privileged communications. Clarifies that information created by and shared with medical review or advisory committees is privileged and inadmissible in legal proceedings. This bill seeks to effectively overturn the Supreme Court decision in Riverside v. Johnson. Issue Paper Available

HB 1282 – Athey- Medical Malpractice Settlement Offer and Recovery Act. Provides that a defendant in a medical malpractice case may make an irrevocable settlement offer within 180 days after responsive pleadings were filed. The offer shall provide for the payment of the plaintiff’s net compensatory damages and attorney fees in an amount equal to 10 percent of these damages, however it shall not provide for punitive or exemplary damages. The plaintiff has 30 days to accept or reject the offer. If the offer is rejected, the plaintiff’s case proceeds with the increased burden that he prove by clear and convincing evidence that his injuries resulted from the defendant’s gross negligence or wanton and willful misconduct. Issue Paper Available

NICE – OFFER PEANUTS and if you don’t want to take their peanuts, you have to prove the doctor almost INTENTIONALLY committed the malpractice, or that he showed NO CARE.

HB403/SB657 – Hamilton/Newman – Health care provider liability protections. Provides that, in the absence of gross negligence or willful misconduct, health care providers who respond to a disaster are immune from civil liability for any injury or wrongful death arising from the delivery or withholding of health care. This immunity only applies if a state or local emergency has been or is subsequently declared in response to such a disaster.

WOW – these are some pretty bad laws.

Dan Frith

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.