BMHJ Blog: Legal Information, Resources, & News: Personal Injury / Wrongful Death Defense

A claim of “personal injury” for alleged mold exposure doesn’t turn every alleged breach of original construction contract into a tort.

Melissa H. Katz, Esquire
November 2nd, 2019
By: Melissa H. Katz, Esquire

Recently, the Virginia Supreme Court, in the case of Tingler v. Graystone Homes, Inc. held that the trial court did not err in its ruling sustaining a home builder’s demurrer to a negligence count for alleged breach of the original construction contract. In that case, a family, in related suits alleged personal injuries and damage resulting from mold that developed in a home built by the defendant contractor. The plaintiffs pled many theories of liability, all of which were dismissed by the trial court.

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Legislative Update: House and Senate pass bill on spoliation of evidence.

March 1st, 2019
By: admin

The summary of bill as passed:

Spoliation of evidence. Establishes that a party or potential litigant has a duty to preserve evidence that may be relevant to reasonably foreseeable litigation. The bill further provides that a court (i) upon finding prejudice to another party from loss, disposal, alteration, concealment, or destruction of such evidence, may order measures no greater than necessary to cure the prejudice, or (ii) only upon finding that the party acted recklessly or with the intent to deprive another party of the evidence’s use in the litigation, may (a) presume that the evidence was unfavorable to the party, (b) instruct the jury that it may or shall presume that the evidence was unfavorable to the party, or (c) dismiss the action or enter a default judgment. The bill further provides that no independent cause of action for negligent or intentional spoliation of evidence is created.

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Updates 2019 General Assembly Session

February 22nd, 2019
By: admin

Bills of interest that will become law effective July 1, 2019, include the following:

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The Art of the Trial is Alive and Well

February 11th, 2019
By: admin

While statistics reflect that there is a decline in the number of cases that are being tried by jury, a review of the disposition of some of our firm’s cases in January 2019 underscores that the art of the trial is alive and well. A review of our January 2019 statistics reflect twelve trials, with 7 circuit court trials (5- juries and 2 bench) and 5 general district court cases throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and in Maryland. While we also practice in the District of Columbia we had no trials in that jurisdiction in January; however, a case was tried by jury in December resulting in a defendant’s verdict.

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Virginia Supreme Court Upholds Trial Court’s Decision to Grant Missing Witness Instruction where Plaintiff Elected Not to Attend Trial

Anna G. Zick, Esquire
February 4th, 2019
By: Anna G. Zick, Esquire

The Virginia Supreme Court recently denied a Petition for Appeal and a Petition for Rehearing in the case of Raighne C. Delaney v. Madison Pommer, Record No. 180903, Circuit Court No. CL-2016-16148. The issue on appeal was whether the “missing witness instruction” was properly granted when plaintiff did not appear for his own trial. Plaintiff is a prominent local attorney who never appeared at the trial or testified over the 4 days of the trial. The plaintiff claimed he suffered a traumatic brain injury following a minor rear end automobile accident. Plaintiff presented evidence of $189,000.00 in past medical specials and $1,150,000.00 in lost wages. The evidence demonstrated the roads were wet and the defendant was unable to stop her vehicle before colliding with the vehicle immediately in front of her. The vehicle immediately in front of the defendant was pushed into the plaintiff’s vehicle. The jury returned a defense verdict.

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Disclaimer

This blog and the information provided has been prepared by Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, P.C. (“BMHJ”) for information purposes only and is not intended nor to be construed as legal advice. This blog may contain the opinions of the members and associates of this firm on various legal issues and is not legal advice. Read More