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Ben Glass
Ben Glass
Attorney • (703) 584-7277

When will we see certifications of meritorious defenses?

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The 2007 Virginia General Assembly Session brings with it more attempts to make Virginia medical malpractice claims more difficult for patients, while not providing any balancing requirements for defendants.

A bill introduced in the House would allow for dismissal with prejudice of any malpractice claim where a court finds that the certification of merit currently required to be obtained by the patient, fails to meet some technical requirement.

House Medical Malpractice Bill 2403 would allow a defendant to request an in-camera review of the basis of the plaintiff’s certification and allow the court to dismiss the action with prejudice or impose sanctions against the plaintiff if the court finds that the certification is not consistent with the requirements for such certifications.

Defendants are already wasting time dragging patients into court to quibble over certifications required under a law passed last year.

While, at first glance the requirement seem reasonable, there is no balancing requirement for defendants, who often go on their merry way asserting bogus defenses and using well-worn experts who would defend a case even if the wrong arm was cut off.