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Va. Supreme Court blocks bid to avoid medical malpractice cap

An effort to recover more than the maximum allowed under Virginia law in a birth injury case has been turned aside by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The court decided that injuries to Marissa Simpson, now 12, caused by a medical procedure before she was born are covered by the state’s medical malpractice law and therefore are subject to a cap on the amount of damages she can receive.

Simpson’s lawyers had argued she was not a “natural person” under Virginia law at the time of 2001 prenatal testing blamed for her injuries, according to The Roanoke Times.

“Since a fetus is not a person, then Marissa could not meet the definition of a patient,” Jeff Krasnow, a Roanoke attorney who handled her case, told the paper.

Two years ago, a Roanoke jury returned a $7 million verdict against the physician who performed the tests. The Supreme Court affirmed a trial court decision to limit the judgment to the amount allowed under Virginia’s medical malpractice law.

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