03 Mar Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Credentialing
On February 26, 2016, Circuit Court for Lynchburg issued a landmark letter opinion in Martin v. Salvaggio, No. CL15000756-00. It recognized the existence of a claim for “negligent credentialing and privileging” of a defendant doctor, and that plaintiff patient alleged the same with sufficient particularity by specifically alleging he reasonably relied on the defendant hospital’s credentialing process and suffered injury thereby. Id. at 2-3.
Further, as a matter of first impression, Martin “holds negligent credentialing and privileging as a separate cause of action and does not fall within the scope of the Virginia Medical Malpractice Act and therefore expert certification (pursuant to Va. Code §8.01-20.1) is not required for this particular part of plaintiff’s claim.” Id. at 3 (emphasis in original). Notably, although the letter opinion is silent about the statutory cap for medical malpractice, obviously that damages cap does not apply to plaintiff’s negligent credentialing and privileging claim since it is not subject to the Act.