Virginia: Wrongful Deaths – a Lawyer’s Coverage

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On June 16, 2014, Virginia Lawyers Weekly covered two wrongful death cases involving Mr. Waterman. They are the patient fall lawsuit of Eason v. Sentara CarePlex Hosp., No. CL12-470, Letter Op. (Hampton May 29, 2014) and the plane crash appeal of Harman v. Honeywell Int’l, Inc., No. 130627 (Va. Jun. 5, 2014).

Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported the Eason medical malpractice lawsuit under “The Week’s Opinions”. Its heading was “Negligence: Audit Trail Metadata is Discoverable,” though the Letter Opinion also held that the hospital’s Policies and Procedures Manual is discoverable too. Id. at 19.

Virginia Lawyers Weekly also reported Harman in “The Week’s Opinions” under the heading “Negligence: Accident Report Was Not ‘Learned Treatise’.” Id. at 14-16. Additionally, it headlined Harman on the front page “Court clarifies rules on ‘learned treatises’,” subtitled “New Trial in ’08 crash deaths is allowed”. Id. at 1.

The lead Harman article reported that Mr. Waterman as author of the Amicus Curiae Brief and of the Amicus Curiae Reply Brief for the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (“VTLA”) delineated the threefold error of the trial court: “The report should never have passed muster as a learned treatise, the expert failed to lay a proper foundation for it [even] if it were, and the jury was allowed to take the entire report back to the jury room”. Id. at 20. It also quoted him about the juror impact of the plane manufacturer’s report (which concluded the plane was not to blame for the crash): “That’s a pretty big thing to go to the jury”. Id.

Further, on June 18, 2014, Administratrix in Harman filed Appellants’ Notarized Bill of Costs in the amount of $33,534.46. Legal authority is Va. Sup. Ct. Rule 5:35, Va. Code §17.1-128, and Va. Code §17.1-604.