BMHJ Blog: Legal Information, Resources, & News

Sovereign Immunity No Protection for Sheriff Who Allegedly Caused Rear End Crash

Melissa H. Katz, Esquire
December 15th, 2013
By: Melissa H. Katz, Esquire

While driving two work inmates in a city vehicle to a job site, a sergeant for the sheriff’s department in the City of Chesapeake rear ended another driver. A personal injury action ensued. The defendant sergeant filed a plea in bar arguing that he was protected under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. The trial court disagreed and denied the plea in bar. The court found that routine driving activities are ministerial functions that do not give rise to the cloak of sovereign immunity.

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Photographs Are Worth a Thousand Words: Document a Property Condition Before It Is Materially Changed

Nicholas J. Lawrence, Esquire
December 9th, 2013
By: Nicholas J. Lawrence, Esquire

Business owners performing significant changes to their property should consider photographing the existing condition before making any changes. A recent case in the City of Virginia Beach illustrates the potential problem when improvements are made without documenting the existing conditions. In 2006, an elderly patron of a parking garage tripped and fell on the 4″ curb beside an elevator loading platform. About six months later, with no reports of any prior problems, the curb was painted yellow as part of an effort to improve overall visibility inside the garage. Eighteen months later, the property owner learned of the fall for the first time when a lawsuit was filed.

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Opposing Motions to Quash Medical Record Subpoenas As Overly Broad

Brendan Mullarkey, Esquire
December 3rd, 2013
By: Brendan Mullarkey, Esquire

In a Case of Physical and Mental Suffering, a Subpoena Duces Tecum for Medical Records should not be Quashed or Modified as to Length of Years

Recently, there has been a push to limit the scope of medical records subpoenas in personal injury cases. Attorneys rely on the “good cause” balancing test of Va. Code § 32.1-127.1:03(H) to say that a subpoena for medical records from birth to the present is too broad. However, the case law in conjunction with the Virginia Code shows that in a case involving physical and mental suffering, the broad scope of a subpoena duces tecum for medical records is appropriate.

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Va. Code Section 38.2-2206(L) – Irrevocable Offers

Steven W. Bancroft, Esquire
Matthew A. Roberson, Esquire
November 3rd, 2013
By: Steven W. Bancroft, Esquire and Matthew A. Roberson, Esquire

Irrevocable Offers: Does Va. Code Section 38.2-2206(L) have any teeth?

Liability automobile carriers can now shift the costs of litigation to underinsured carriers as a result of a recent statutory change. This change affects both settlement offers and the relationship between liability insurers and underinsured motorist insurers.

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Virginia: Where the Defense of Contributory Negligence is Still Alive and Kicking

October 4th, 2013
By: Michelle Hundley, Esquire

Virginia – Where the Defense of Contributory Negligence is Alive and Kicking

The issue of whether and how Virginia should move from a contributory negligence state to a comparative negligence state remains hotly contested between plaintiff and defense counsel in the Virginia Bar. The Virginia General Assembly last decided the issue of comparative negligence in 1984 as House Bill 107. However, the bill was killed in the senate committee without reaching a floor vote in the Senate. Since that time, the Boyd Graves Conference has addressed the issue on numerous occasions. In 2012, John McGavin, Esq., partner at Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath and Judkins, PC, led the Boyd Graves Committee on this issue. The committee submitted a comprehensive report, however, a consensus was not met. The numerous variables that go into reaching such a consensus are described below.

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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