Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Protégé

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On June 30, 2015, Circuit Court for the City of Newport News, Virginia, granted Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel in the medical malpractice lawsuit of Newsome v. Ressler, No. CL14-3514T-01. The alleged surgery victim sought Risk Management and other incident materials that Defendant, Riverside Hospital, Inc., claimed were privileged under Va. Code §8.01-581.17 and/or work product doctrine, but for which it did not provide the requisite “privilege log”.

In Newsome, Judge Tench ordered Riverside to produce any Root Cause Analysis for Plaintiff, and to provide Plaintiff a comprehensive “privilege log” of all Risk Management emails and other communications from the date of incident to the date of Plaintiff counsel’s first contact of Riverside. Notably, previously in Licare v. Riverside Health System, 2007 Va. Cir. LEXIS 338, 2007 WL 6787195 (Newport News Aug. 3, 2007), Judge Tench rejected Riverside’s claim of work product doctrine privilege, and re claimed §8.01-581.17 privilege found discoverable all “fact information related to patient care” in “all ‘hospital records and papers’…including particularly without limitation any Quality Management System database entries and any Sentinel Event Report, Root Cause Analysis, investigations email and/or other printed electronic materials whatsoever”.