Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Rulings

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On February 2, 2011, discovery and other pre-trial matters were heard at the Yorktown Courthouse in the medical malpractice case of Marshall v. Moniz, No. CL08-2018 in Circuit Court for York County and Poquoson, Virginia. That suit seeks more than $12,000,000.00.

The Court granted Defendants’ Motion to Exclude Veterinarian Experts in Marshall, precluding both Dr. Leonard and Dr. Alexander from testifying as expert or even fact witnesses concerning the medical malpractice alleged. Plaintiff noted his exceptions of grounds of relevance, materiality and undue prejudice, as those veterinarians had disabused Plaintiff’s daughter regarding the assurances given by Defendants about Plaintiff’s deteriorating post-operative condition.

The Court in Marshall also denied Plaintiff’s Motion to Exclude Extra Defense S.O.C. Expert “at this time”. Significantly, however, it ruled further that in all likelihood Defendants would be limited to calling 2 medical malpractice “standard of care” (“SOC”) experts at trial; and that Defendants must pay the costs (including expert fees, court reporter fees, transportation and lodging expenses, and attorneys fees) associated with Mr. Waterman deposing one of the two out-of-state SOC retained by Defendants.

Additionally, the Court in Marshall granted Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Discovery regarding certain “prior expert consultation history” for Defendants’ experts. Because they had been retained as medical malpractice experts by Defendants’ counsel before, Defendants were required to identify those prior cases.

Further, the Court granted Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel as to Virginia Supreme Court Rule 4:5(b)(6) deposition of the corporate Defendant, Williamsburg Surgery P.C., vis-à-vis it having to tender co-Defendant, Dr. Moniz, as its most knowledgeable person (“MKP”) on multiple topics noticed. Following the medical malpractice precedent of Woodcock v. O’Connell, No. 32067, Order at 2 (Hampton Mar. 25, 1997) and Seibert v. Riverside Hosp., Inc., No. 40366-DP, Second Order at 2 (Newport News Jul. 23, 2007) and Third Order at 1 (Newport News Jul. 23, 2007); the Court in Marshall accepted Defendants stipulating the prior individual deposition testimony of Dr. Moniz as deposition testimony of the Williamsburg Surgery, P.C., but allowed Plaintiff to depose the Defendant corporation through Dr. Moniz on “new items”.