Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Incident

placeholder image big

Toward evaluating a potential medical malpractice claim, pursuant to Va. Code Ann. §8.01-413(B) Mr. Waterman sought a patient’s “records or papers” from Maryview Nursing Care Center in Suffolk, Virginia. His request was made without any suit pending and included inter alia any so-called incident reports.

Through legal counsel on January 19, 2012, that Bon Secours nursing home provided 16 Quality Care Reports, but redacted from each of them everything under the general heading of “NATURE OF THE INCIDENT” – which constituted more than one-third the informational content of all 16 forms – ostensibly “to remove deliberative analysis” that supposedly was “privileged by Va. Code §8.01-587.17” as amended in 2011. Naturally Mr. Waterman objected to such obviously overbroad redactions.

On January 31, 2012, Maryview/Bon Secours belatedly provided all 16 Quality Care Reports unredacted. Significantly, the unredacted forms disclosed 10 subsections headed “BEHAVIORAL,” “BLOODY/BODY FLUID EXPOSURE,” “BURN,” “COMPLAINT,” “EQUIPMENT RELATED,” “FALL,” “IV/MEDICATION RELATED,” “PROPERTY LOSS/DAMAGE,” “SKIN INTEGRITY” and “TREATMENT/PROCEDURE RELATED” – the format of which was check-the-preprinted-boxes and reflected core facts pertinent inter alia to a patient fall at issue.