Injuries on Rental Properties and Claims Against Nonowners: Anatomy of the Defense

May 22, 2017 | by: Kendall Ruby | Leave a Comment

Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman Partner Julie Palmer recently published an article discussing the ins and outs of defending premises liability cases arising on rental properties. You can find the article here. The article originally appeared in the Journal of Civil Litigation, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Spring 2017), a publication of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys.  It appears here with permission. … Continue reading

Fourth Circuit announces new “joint employer” FLSA test

January 31, 2017 | by: George A. Somerville | Leave a Comment

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has issued a pair of decisions establishing a new test for identifying “joint employers” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  No. 151915.P, Salinas v. Commercial Interiors, Inc., and No. 151857.P, Hall v. DIRECTV, LLC, both decided January 25, 2017.  All federal District Courts in the Fourth Circuit – Virginia, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Maryland – must now apply what we will call the Salinas test. Joint employer questions typically arise in contractor-subcontractor, parent-subsidiary, and employment referral agency contexts, among others.  A finding that a company is a joint employer of … Continue reading

Supreme Court of Virginia Upholds Sovereign Immunity and Fortifies At-Will Employment Doctrine

June 17, 2016 | by: HCCW | Leave a Comment

On June 2, 2016, the Supreme Court of Virginia decided two important cases for local governments and employers.  George Somerville, of Harman Claytor, filed amicus briefs in support of the prevailing parties – one upholding a plea of public employee sovereign immunity and the other rejecting an argument that an employer must provide an employee advance notice of termination. In Pike v. Hagaman, Record No. 151193, the Supreme Court held that a nurse employed by VCU was entitled to sovereign immunity.  The defendant, Hagaman, is a nurse in the Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit at VCU Medical Center.  The plaintiff “underwent … Continue reading

Sweeping Changes to Virginia’s UIM Statute

May 10, 2016 | by: Jon Nichols | Leave a Comment

A broad overhaul of Virginia Code § 38.2-2206 (Virginia’s Underinsured Motorist Statute) will result in new rights and responsibilities for claimants, tortfeasors, liability carriers and underinsured motorist carriers in settling claims. The most significant of these changes is that a liability insurer and a plaintiff may settle a claim and release the tortfeasor while still allowing the plaintiff to proceed against the UIM insurer.  The statute also may shift the duty to defend entirely to the UIM insurer while extinguishing its subrogation rights, resulting in increased costs to an underinsured motorist carrier with no ability to recover from the tortfeasor. … Continue reading

Fourth Circuit Holds That The Accidental Disclosure of Medical Records on the Internet Triggered Duty to Defend

April 14, 2016 | by: Rob Friedman | Leave a Comment

In Travelers Indemnity Company of America v. Portal Healthcare Solutions, LLC, the Fourth Circuit recently affirmed a federal district court’s determination that a class action lawsuit arising out of a medical records safekeeping firm’s alleged failure to safeguard confidential medical records triggered an insurer’s duty to defend under a policy that afforded coverage for damages arising out of “electronic publication of material that… gives unreasonable publicity to a person’s private life” or the “electronic publication of material that… discloses information about a person’s private life” (the specific policy language changed at renewal, but the court found them materially identical). In the … Continue reading

Congratulations to John R. Owen – VLW – Leaders in the Law – 2015

October 30, 2015 | by: Kendall Ruby | Leave a Comment

Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman congratulates John Owen on being named one of 30 Virginians who are “Leaders in the Law”. John and his fellow honorees were celebrated on October 29, 2015 at a reception at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. Paul E. Fletcher, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Lawyers Weekly, stated, “We seek to recognize attorneys who are setting the standard for other lawyers – those who changed the practice, advanced the law or improved the justice system in Virginia.” Each honoree was asked to complete a questionnaire “providing insight about them as individuals and about their accomplishments.”  Click here to view John’s responses … Continue reading

Supreme Court of Virginia Issues Three Insurance Coverage Opinions in September Session

September 24, 2015 | by: Rob Friedman | Leave a Comment

Last Friday marked the close of the Supreme Court of Virginia’s September session.  The Court issued three insurance coverage opinions addressing important issues: (1) vehicle “occupancy” and vehicle “use” for purposes of UIM Coverage (2) whether bad faith is a question for the judge or the jury; and (3) whether use of a nonsuit extends the contractual period of limitations contained in the standard fire insurance policy.  Summaries of the three decisions are provided below. Bratton v. Selective Ins. Co., Record No. 141358 (Sept. 17, 2015) A Road Construction Worker Was “Getting out of” a Dump Truck and “Using” a … Continue reading

Be Careful What You Ask For!

June 18, 2015 | by: Melissa York | Leave a Comment

The Supreme Court of Virginia recently affirmed a Circuit Court’s Order denying plaintiff’s motion to set aside the default judgment she obtained against the defendant, even though the defendant was never properly served with the summons and complaint. Sauder v. Ferguson arose out of an October 2009 motor vehicle accident.  Susan Sauder filed a complaint against Dennie Lee Ferguson seeking damages from the accident.  Sauder obtained posted service on Ferguson at an old address listed on the 2009 police report.  Sauder also served Rockingham Mutual Insurance Company by personal service on its registered agent, instead of Rockingham Casualty Company, her … Continue reading