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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Va. Supreme Court decides wrongful death settlements should be public

Another victory for disclosure of court settlement terms:
The settlement terms of several wrongful death lawsuits brought in Spotsylvania County against a pharmaceutical company must be disclosed publicly and cannot be sealed in the court records, a Virginia Supreme Court ruled today.

The unanimous opinion upholds a circuit court ruling that it was improper to permit the suits to be settled without the details disclosed in court.

The deaths occurred at Mary Washington Hospital 2004 and 2005 and the defendants in the case were B. Braun Medical Inc. and its subsidiary, Central Admixture Pharmacy Services (CAPS). After the cases were settled with the settlement terms filed in the court records, The Free Lance-Star and the Richmond Times-Dispatch intervened and, after hearings, a circuit judge ruled that the terms of the settlements must be filed in the court clerk’s office. The judge agreed to seal the settlements until the Supreme Court decided the appeals.

More here.

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