Recent Virginia Supreme Court Cases Effect Privilege Analysis and Liability for Accidents to Children


On June 10, 2010, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued two rulings that could have important impacts on Risk Management clients.

First, in Walton v. Mid-Atlantic Spine Specialists, PC, Record No. 091009, the Court issued an important ruling on safe-guarding documents that should be privileged from disclosure to an opposing party under the “attorney work-product” and “attorney-client” privileges.....

....Secondly, in Evans v. Evans, Record No. 091469, the Supreme Court of Virginia examined whether the “seat belt laws” passed several years ago by the General Assembly, and which included a provision that evidence of a failure to use a seat belt system/safety restraint system could result in a ticket, but could not be used as evidence of negligence in a tort case, prevented a mother from suing a child’s father for failing to properly secure their infant daughter in his pickup truck, under Virginia common law negligence principles, without reference to the “seat belt laws” in the suit or at trial....

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