Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Demurrer

Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Demurrer

On September 12, 2013, the Virginia Supreme Court decided Assurance Data, Inc. v. Malyevac, No. 121989. It reaffirmed that “a demurrer has one purpose – to determine whether a complaint [as a whole] states a cause of action upon which the requested relief may be granted.” Id. at 10 (emphasis added).

In Assurance Data, the circuit court judge impermissibly decided the entire case on the merits based only on the pleadings without any evidence. In medical malpractice cases, the defense also entreats circuit court judges wrongfully to strike select allegations of a Complaint, even when the Complaint as a whole states “a cause of action upon which the requested relief can be granted”.