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House approves tort reform package

Without debate, the Virginia House of Delegates Friday approved a package of tort reform measures hammered out last month in talks among business interests, trial lawyers, and doctors.

The bundle of bills now goes to the Senate, where the Courts Committee already has approved a handful of similar proposals.

The House tort reform package includes bills to limit “forum shopping,” to loosen restrictions on summary judgment, and to discourage last-minute nonsuits.

Earlier on Friday, the Senate Courts Committee approved bills to discourage last-minute nonsuits, to require a medical malpractice plaintiff to identify her certifying expert, and to expand the limitations period for a claim for an injured child’s medical expenses. Sponsors withdrew bills to require service of process in a civil action within six months of filing and to create a presumption of future wages for tort victims who are children or students.

Tuesday is the General Assembly’s “crossover” day, after which the House and Senate can act only on bills from the other chamber.

UPDATE: The Senate Courts Committee Monday reported versions of bills to limit forum shopping (SB 1337) and to allow doctors to introduce medical records of a deceased patient (SB 1122).

One comment

  1. Virginia is probably one of the worst states for plaintiffs seeking relief. The term Tort Reform is a misnomer. Virginia is the only state, to my knowledge, that does not allow class action lawsuits at the state level. It has gotten to the point that some causes of actions, in my opinion, have not been pursued because the hurdles placed for discouraging Plaintiff suits.

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