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

Importance of Filing a Motion to Dismiss Upon Plaintiff’s Failure to Serve Within 12 Months of Filing

Anna G. Zick, Esquire
February 4th, 2015
By: Anna G. Zick, Esquire

Pursuant to Rule 3:5, no judgment can be entered against a defendant who was served with process more than one year after the filing of the complaint, unless the court makes a finding that the plaintiff exercised due diligence to have timely service on the defendant. Absent a finding of due diligence, if service has not been effected within a year, the court “shall dismiss the action with prejudice.” Va. Code § 8.01-277.

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Supreme Court of Virginia clarifies the Rules of Evidence

Andrew R. Alder, Esquire
January 7th, 2015
By: Andrew R. Alder, Esquire

On November 12, 2014, the Supreme Court of Virginia clarified the rules of evidence regarding the admissibility of prior witness statements at trial. It did so by modifying Rule 2:801, the definition section of the rules governing hearsay. The modified rule now sets forth with greater clarity exceptions to the general rule that a witness’s prior statements are inadmissible hearsay.

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Virginia Supreme Court Struggles with Contributory Negligence as a Matter of Law and Illustrates the Importance of Some Support for a Jury’s Decision

Martin Schubert, Esquire
November 18th, 2014
By: Martin Schubert, Esquire

As is customary, the jury rendered a verdict in this wrongful death action arising out of a railroad crossing collision. A dump truck was struck by a train. The jury found for the estate of the driver and the trial court entered an order in conformance with that verdict. It is the subsequent history that becomes interesting. On June 5, 2014, the Virginia Supreme Court reversed, finding contributory negligence on the part of the decedent, as a matter of law. RGR, LLC v. Settle, 288 Va. 1, 758 S.E.2d 215 (2014) (RGR I). That opinion was subsequently withdrawn and a new opinion reversing that first opinion was entered on Oct. 31, 2014. RGR, LLC v. Settle, 2014 Va. LEXIS 161 (2014) (RGR II). Both majority opinions were written by the same justice and both opinions had dissents.

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A thorough pretrial investigation is usually worth the expense.

Nicholas J. Lawrence, Esquire
July 28th, 2014
By: Nicholas J. Lawrence, Esquire

In this day and age insurance companies, businesses, and claims professionals are all understandably looking for every way possible to minimize legal expenses. However, limiting the pretrial investigation is often a false economy. Two recent cases in northern Virginia illustrate the importance of thorough investigation and case preparation, even in “routine” or minor personal injury cases in general district court. The following summary is of two recent cases involving rear-end collisions with no liability defenses, and no dispute as to the authenticity or reasonableness of the medical bills claimed. The only issue was whether the plaintiffs were truly injured.

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In a Case Arising from the Mass Shooting at Virginia Tech, the Virginia Supreme Court Reaffirmed the High Hurdle (and Foreseeability) to Hold a Property Owner Liable for Crimes of Third Parties.

Dawn E. Boyce, Esquire
Martin Schubert, Esquire
December 17th, 2013
By: Dawn E. Boyce, Esquire and Martin Schubert, Esquire

The facts of Commonwealth v. Peterson, 749 S.E.2d 307, 2013 Va. LEXIS 132 (2013), are readily recognizable. The Plaintiffs were the administrators of two decedents who died in the tragic Virginia Tech mass shooting in 2007. Pursuant to the Virginia Tort Claims Act, the administrators brought a wrongful death action against the Commonwealth of Virginia on the theory that the Commonwealth failed to warn about the potential for criminal acts by third parties.

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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