BMHJ Blog: Legal Information, Resources, & News

Virginia Supreme Court Reaffirms Underinsured Motorist Insurance Carriers’ Right to Mount an Independent Defense

Alexandar J. Conn, Esquire
November 14th, 2012
By: Alexandar J. Conn, Esquire

In the recent decision of Transportation Insurance Company v. Womack, Supreme Ct. Record No. 112283 (Nov. 1, 2012), the Supreme Court of Virginia reversed a trial court’s grant of Summary Judgment against an underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance carrier participating in litigation under Virginia Code § 38.2-2206(F).

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Plaintiff’s Counsel Allowed to Contact Insurance Company Directly During Lawsuit

Dawn E. Boyce, Esquire
October 20th, 2012
By: Dawn E. Boyce, Esquire

In a legal ethics opinion, the Virginia State Bar has opined that in a pending personal injury case where the defendant is represented by counsel provided by the insurance company, the plaintiff’s attorney may contact the insurance carrier directly without the consent of the defendant’s attorney. See LEO 1863.

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Virginia Supreme Court Vacates Controversial Products Liability Case

Jennifer E. White, Esquire
October 2nd, 2012
By: Jennifer E. White, Esquire

Virginia Supreme Court Vacates Controversial Products Liability Opinion

On Monday, September 17, 2012, the Virginia Supreme Court granted the appellee’s petition for rehearing in Funkhouser v. Ford Motor Company, vacating its June 2012 opinion. The Court’s original 4-3 decision proved controversial for the products liability bar and raised concerns that the decision’s interpretation of the admissibility of evidence of “similar events” could be used by the plaintiff’s bar in general negligence, premises liability, medical malpractice, and elder care cases.

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Restaurant Owner Not Liable for Criminal Acts of Third Party

Steven W. Bancroft, Esquire
July 16th, 2012
By: Steven W. Bancroft, Esquire

The general rule in Virginia tort law is that a person or business is not liable to a victim for the criminal acts of a third party. However, the rule is subject to some limitations and exceptions where the person or business has established a special relationship with the victim that entitles the victim to protection against third party crimes, or where the person or business has a relationship with the third party that obligates them to control the third party’s conduct. Examples of special relationships that have been recognized by the Supreme Court of Virginia include a common-carrier and a passenger, an employer and employee, an innkeeper and guest, and a business proprietor and its invitee.

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Court Affirms That Once Worker’s Compensation Act Applies, It Is an Absolute Bar to Subsequent Tort Suit

Steven W. Bancroft, Esquire
July 16th, 2012
By: Steven W. Bancroft, Esquire

The Virginia Supreme Court recently ruled on a case defended by the firm that once the Virginia Worker’s Compensation Act is found to apply to a work related accident, it bars any subsequent tort action. Pursuant to §65.2-307 of the Virginia Code, the Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed the trial court’s decision dismissing a wrongful death action against the general contractor even when death benefits were not awarded under the Worker’s Compensation Act.

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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