Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Waiver

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On April 16, 2018, Montgomery Circuit Court issued a scathing letter opinion against Co-Defendant, Montgomery Regional Hospital, Inc. (“MRH”), and its counsel in the wrongful death case of Creasy v. Medical Associates of Southwest Virginia, Inc., et. al, No. CL17-1582.  Adopting Plaintiff’s legal authority, Creasy ruled:

  1. Defendant MRH “has waived any privilege it may have pursuant to §8.01-581.16 and §8.01-581.17 due to [the] facts that it failed to provide neither a proper privilege log nor evidence supporting the privilege log.” Id. at 2.
  2. “Further, MRH failed to provide any evidence supporting its claimed privilege, and it failed to  timely and properly respond to Document Requests and Interrogatories, required by the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court.” Id.
  3. Additionally, “MRH has waived any protection it may have under the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (‘PSQIA’) [because it] failed properly to disclose the documents it claims as privileged and has failed to meet the standards required in its privilege log.”  Id. at 3.
  4. “PSQIA does not confer blanket privilege”. Id.
  5. “I also find that counsel for MRH have acted in bad faith by failing to comply with the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.  Further, they have signed discovery responses claiming certain documents are privileged without reviewing the documents.  I will entertain a motion for attorney fees and expenses by Plaintiff.”  Id.
  6. “All documents requested by Plaintiff shall be produced to Plaintiff [by MRH within two (2) days]”.  Id.

In Creasy, MRH’s counsel are Ann M. Glenn, Esq. and Taylor D. Brewer, Esq. of Goodman Allen Donnelly, PLLC.

Abuse of “privileges” claims by medical malpractice Defendants and their defense counsel has been rampant for decades.  More court need to follow Creasy in rejecting unfounded privilege claims and issuing monetary sanctions to foreclose and punish the defense hiding pivotal case facts from medical malpractice victims.