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Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Prayer

Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Prayer

Va. Code Ann. §8.01-379.1 guarantees Plaintiff the right to plead and argue his pleaded ad damnum to the jury. The weight of Circuit Court jurisprudence, especially more recent cases, support Plaintiff not having to reduce his ad damnum in a medical malpractice case. See, e.g., Wright v. Eli Lilly & Co., 65 Va. Cir. 484, 499-504 (Portsmouth Sep. 21, 2004)(attached)(Davis, J.)(citing Morris v. Commonwealth, 46 Va. Cir 216, 223 ( Albemarle Jul. 17, 1998)(Peatross, J.); Benson v. Lowe, 44 Va. Cir. 85, 86-87 (Norfolk Nov. 25, 1997)(Jacobson, J.); Bennett v. Riverside, 43 Va. Cir. 13, 14 (Newport News Mar. 17, 1997)(Frank, J.); Dell v. French, 38 Va. Cir. 91, 100 (Fairfax Aug 2, 1995)(Roush, J.); Johnson v. Commonwealth, 51 Va. Cir. 311, 318 (Stafford Feb. 9, 2000)(Haley, J.); and see, Amended Judgment, Johnson v. Riverside Hosp., Inc., No. CL00-29638-DP c/w CL01-30571-DP (Newport News Nov. 30, 2005)(attached).

Actually, the medical malpractice opinion of the Virginia Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of Va. Code Ann. §8.01-581.15 in 1989 suggests that ad damnum should not be reduced prior to trial. Etheridge v. Med. Ctr. Hosps., 237 Va. 87, 96 (1989)(italics in original)(underlining added) (citations omitted). This Etheridge language was reiterated in Supinger v. Stakes, 255 Va. 198, 205 (1998).