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EVMS charitable immunity rejected

The Supreme Court of Virginia issued decisions in two medical malpractice cases today. One, as expected, was a published order ruling that Eastern Virginia Medical School Academic Physicians and Surgeons Health Services Foundation does not have charitable immunity.Judges in Norfolk had ruled in three separate cases that the foundation has such immunity before the Supreme Court issued its decision that the University of Virginia Health Services Foundation had no such immunity.

The court said there is no principled distinction in the operation of the two foundations and reversed the decisions in the
Norfolk cases in Mayfield-Brown v. Sayegh, Record No. 071167.

The second case, Fruiterman v. Granata, took a $1.6 million wrongful birth judgment from a woman who contended that she was not advised of chorionic villus sampling (CVS) after she became pregnant with twins.

The test makes it possible to determine the likelihood of delivering a child with Down syndrome earlier than is possible with amniocentesis. The mother rejected an amniocentesis test because it came too late in her pregnancy. She had identical twin girls with the chromosomal abnormality.

The Supreme Court ruled that the mother failed to produce sufficient evidence that the CVS test would have been positive for Down syndrome if she had submitted to it.

Fruiterman broke a string of 11 straight published medical malpractice opinions that the Supreme Court had decided in favor of plaintiffs. We noted that streak in an article in VLW in June.

By Alan Cooper

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