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Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Discovery

Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Discovery

In the medical malpractice lawsuit of Carla J. Jones v. Joelle M. Perez and Chesapeake Hosp. Auth., 81 Va. Cir 52 (Chesapeake Jul. 29, Oct. 26, and Nov. 22, 2010), the judge granted Plaintiff post-filing pre-service discovery pursuant to Va. Sup. Ct. Rule 4:5(a). Plaintiff was permitted to depose the most knowledgeable persons (“MKPs”) of Defendant, Chesapeake Hospital Authority, which had skirted deposition of its MKP as previously ordered in the companion proceeding, In re Carla J. Jones, by failing to tender its true MKP. Id. at 52-56.

Further, Jones v. Perez granted leave for, and compelled post-filing pre-service of Requests for Production pursuant to Va. Sup. Ct. Rule 4:9 over Defendants’ objection. The Court considered the corporate Defendant’s withholding of its MKP in the prior medical malpractice miscellaneous proceeding as “extraordinary circumstances”. Id. at 59-60 and 62-63.

Significantly, Jones v. Perez held that the “CT scan protocols” requested by Plaintiff were not privileged under Va. Code Ann. §8.01-581.17. It observed that “the overall weight and policy in the Commonwealth dictates the discovery of such protocols” in medical malpractice cases. Id. at 56-59 and 63-66.

The judge in Jones v. Perez issued a letter opinion dated November 22, 2010. Order was entered in the medical malpractice action on January 25, 2011; with Jason R. Davis, Esq. of Kaufman and Canoles in Norfolk, Virginia, representing Defendants.