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One injury, one recovery

As we reported recently, it’s an open issue in Virginia whether a plaintiff’s lawyer has to choose between a wrongful death and a survival action before trial. In case we needed reminding, here comes a Maryland federal court decision (by way of the Maryland Daily Record) that clarifies the importance of that issue: Virginia allows only one recovery for a single injury.

That finding means disappointment for the mother of a man shot to death by a Maryland police officer in Virginia. She could have recovered on her survival action under Maryland law. Because the fatal encounter happened in Virginia, however, and because the victim’s estate already recovered under Virginia’s wrongful death statutes, the mother’s survival claim is barred.

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