Virginia's UM/UIM Statute Amended to Clarify 2015 Amendment

 

The Virginia UM/UIM statute, Va. Code §38.2-2206, has yet again been amended by the legislature. SB1293 was signed into law by the Governor and became effective July 1, 2019. This bill clarifies the 2015 amendment to Virginia Code §38.2-2206, which allowed liability carriers to tender their limits and shift the duty to defend its insured to the UM/UIM carrier.

This bill solves several problems with the 2015 iteration of §38.2-2206. First, in Section K, it states that if a release explicitly indicates it is being executed pursuant to §38.2-2206, any release language inconsistent with the code section is void. This code update shouldencourage attorneys for the plaintiffs to sign a properly worded release.

Second, the amendment clarifies the nature of the relationship between the tortfeasor and the UIM carrier’s counsel. Subsection K plainly states there is no attorney-client relationship

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Virginia Legislative Alert: SB1619 Virginia's New Spoliation Law

New Section Added to Virginia Code §8.01-379.2:1

On March 7, 2019, the Virginia legislature passed S1619, which added a new section to the Virginia code addressing spoliation at § 8.01-379.2:1. Governor Ralph Northam signed the new legislation into law on March 21, 2019.

S1619 creates an affirmative duty to preserve evidence that a party should reasonably foresee as being relevant to a future lawsuit. The law instructs courts to examine all of the circumstances when determining when the duty to preserve evidence is triggered. Courts must evaluate when the party in possession of the evidence (1) had notice litigation was likely, and (2) realized that the evidence in question would be relevant to the lawsuit.

The Legislature Provides Two Different Spoliation Remedies

 The legislature also provided two different spoliation remedies. First, S1619 provides that when

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Virginia Legislative Alert: SB1486 Allows Depositions to be Used in Support of Summary Judgment - Not Quite

Amendment to Virginia Code §8.01-420.

On February 21, 2019, the Governor signed a Bill amending Virginia Code Section 8.01-420.  Virginia Code Section 8.01-420 expressly states that depositions cannot be used in support of a Motion for Summary Judgment.  The recently enacted amendment to this statute allows depositions to be used, but only in the limited situation where the

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Virginia Legislative Alert: Bad Faith Bill SB1117 Stuck in Committee, But Virginia Bill SB1293 Sent to Governor.

Bill SB1117 Stuck in Committee

In reaction to the Supreme Court of Virginia’s 2017 decision in Manu v. GEICO Cas. Co., 293 Va. 371 (2017), a bill was introduced to the General Assembly in 2018, seeking to impose bad faith on UM/UIM insurance carriers. In 2018, the proposed legislation died in a Senate committee. In 2019, another substantively identical UM/UIM bad faith bill was proposed, SB1117.

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