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Civil Procedure – Default Judgment – Med-Mal Suit

A med-mal plaintiff who properly served his med-mal complaint on the registered agent for defendant practice group, Chantilly Specialists of Virginia, can strike a responsive pleading filed by another entity, Chantilly of Maryland, and is entitled to default judgment against Chantilly of Virginia, who failed to file any responsive pleading, says a Fairfax Circuit Court.

In this case, Chantilly of Maryland is an unnamed party. Plaintiff’s complaint only alleges claims against “Chantilly Specialists, Ltd., a Virginia corporation,” and does not name Chantilly of Maryland. Also, paragraph seven of the complaint specifically identifies defendant Chantilly as a Virginia corporation, and not a Maryland corporation. Chantilly’s registered agent, Mr. Bond, argues that Chantilly of Maryland is not a named defendant. Bond’s letter specifically states that the allegations in paragraph seen will negate any service on or naming of the Maryland corporation (Chantilly of Maryland) as a defendant. The court agrees with Mr. Bond’s assessment that plaintiff’s complaint does not name Chantilly of Maryland as a defendant.

Chantilly of Maryland filed a responsive answer without permission of the court. Because the court never granted Chantilly of Maryland leave to file a responsive pleading as required, it is improperly before this court. Plaintiff’s motion to strike this responsive pleading is granted.

Here, plaintiff properly served his complaint on Chantilly’s registered agent, Mr. Bond, and the complaint adequately states a claim against Chantilly. Chantilly, however, has failed to file a responsive pleading to this complaint, and it stands in default under Rule 3:19.

Because Chantilly is in default according to Rule 3:19, and Chantilly has failed to request a late responsive filing, the court finds it appropriate to enter judgment as to defendant Chantilly Specialists Ltd., of Virginia.

Motion for default judgment granted.

Youngblood v. Fasano (Thacher, J.) No. CL 2009-18188, Oct. 4, 2010; Fairfax Cir.Ct.; John A. Blazer for plaintiff; John Bond for defendants. VLW 010-8-201, 7 pp.

VLW 010-8-201

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