Virginia: Medical Malpractice Va. Code Ann. §8.01-265 – a Lawyer’s Venue

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Marshall v. Moniz, No. CL08-2018 in York Circuit Court is a medical malpractice action. Defendants have moved to transfer venue to Williamsburg, Virginia.

Va. Code Ann. §8.01-261 provide “Category A or preferred venue”. There is no preferred venue in the Marshall medical malpractice lawsuit .

Va. Code Ann. §8.01-262(3&4) provide “Category B permissible venue,” wherein “the defendant regularly conducts substantial business activity” and/or “the cause of action, or any part thereof, arose”. York County is permissible venue under both of those subsections in the Marshall medical malpractice suit.

“While plaintiff’s choice of forum is not entitled to absolute deference, it ‘should not be lightly defeated’.” Champigny v. Bagly, 55 Va. Cir 381, 382 (Norfolk Jul. 2, 2001)(citations omitted). “A rebuttable ‘presumption of correctness attaches to a plaintiff’s choice of forum’.” Kollman v. Jordan, 60 Va. Cir. 293, 294 (Chesterfield Oct. 29, 2002). When “considerations are equal or even close, the plaintiff’s choice of forum must prevail.” Wray v. Floyd & Beasley Transfer Co., 29 Va. Cir. 126, 130 (Richmond Sep. 17, 1992).

“Plaintiff does not need to explain his reasons for placing venue in any particular forum that §8.01-262 allows.” Id. “According to the plain language of the statute [§8.01-265], Defendant has the burden to show good cause for a transfer.” Id.