Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Wrongful Death settlements put on hold

This article reports that the Spotsylvania County Circuit Court continued a court hearing until June 1, 2007 to finalize a wrongful death settlement because two newspapers, the Times Dispatch and the Free Lance-Star, objected on the basis that the terms of the settlements were not made public. The judge wants to first determine whether the newspapers have legal standing to argue that the petition to approve a wrongful death compromise should disclose "the compromise, its terms and the reason therefor" as required by the Virginia Code (seems to me that the judge can and should make the determination sua sponte whether the petition complies with the statute and need not make a determination of standing). This case involves the tragic consequences from the effects of contaminated heart surgery medication given to nine patients as reported here.