Virginia: Wrongful Death – a Lawyer’s Corroboration

placeholder image big

With passage of House Bill 1477, the Virginia General Assembly amended and reenacted Va. Code Ann. §8.01-397, effective July 1, 2013. §8.01-397 is the so-called Dead Man’s Statute that is implicated in many wrongful death cases.

The revision liberalizes the rule, adding that “in addition to corroboration by any other competent evidence, an entry authored by an adverse or interested party contained in a business record may be competent evidence for corroboration of the testimony of an adverse or interested party.” Additionally, if business record authentication is not admitted in the wrongful death proceeding, “such business record shall be authenticated by a person other than the author of the author of the entry who is not an adverse or interested party whose conduct is at issue in the allegations of the complaint.”