Third Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency in Response to COVID-19 Emergency

The Virginia Supreme Court has issued its Third Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency in Response to COVID-19 Emergency through May 17, 2020. Under this extended order, which affects all Circuit Courts and General District Courts in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the courts have suspended all statute of limitations and case-related deadlines that would otherwise have expired between during the period of judicial emergency, now set as March 16 through May 17. The declaration also prohibits any gathering of more than 10 people within court buildings. Individual county courts in Virginia are preparing their own procedures to hear motions and hold other proceedings by video and teleconference during the period of judicial emergency. The full text from the Virginia Courts can be viewed here. If you have a question related to your matters with KPM, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our team.  All attorneys can be reached at first.last@kpmlaw.com or calling our office at...

Covid -19 Concerns – Compensable or Not?

In Virginia, COVID-19 would most likely be considered an “Ordinary Disease of Life.” Thus, the Claim for Benefits will likely have it selected as that of an occupational disease. In general, if an employee suffers from a disease which the general public is exposed, then the disease may be treated as an ordinary disease of life under Code § 65.2-401.   Under this section, “an ordinary disease of life to which the general public is exposed outside of the employment may be treated as an occupational disease for purposes of this title if each of the following elements is established by clear and convincing evidence, (not a mere probability): That the disease exists and arose out of and in the course of employment as provided in § 65.2-400 with respect to occupational diseases and did not result from causes outside of the employment, and That one of the following exists: It follows as an incident of occupational disease as defined in this title; or It is an infectious or contagious disease contracted in the course of one’s employment in a hospital or sanitarium or laboratory or nursing home as defined in § 32.1-123, or while otherwise engaged in the direct delivery of health care, or in the course of employment as emergency rescue personnel and those volunteer emergency rescue personnel referred to in § 65.2-101; or It is characteristic of the employment and was caused by conditions peculiar to such employment. In order for an injured worker to qualify for benefits, the injured worker must meet the burden by the higher “clear and convincing evidence” burden of proof (higher than...

Virginia Court Response to COVID-19

Like all businesses and industries, the judicial system is struggling to maintain normal operations as it attempts to limit gathering of large numbers of people to avoid the spread of COVID-19.  In response to directions of the CDC, Virginia Department of Health, and the Governor of Virginia, the courts have all issued orders suspending most matters on the upcoming docket, and they have gone even further with civil jury trials where members of the general public are required to meet.  The following orders and changes have been made to the various court dockets in Virginia. STATE COURTS:  The Supreme Court of Virginia has issued an Order Declaring a Judicial Emergency such that from Monday, March 16th through April 6, 2020, all non-essential and non-emergency court proceedings in Circuit Courts and District Courts are suspended, and all civil, traffic, and criminal matters, including jury trials are continued (with the exception of emergency matters).  It was further ordered that all deadlines are tolled for 21 days.  If an emergency matter must be heard, courtroom attendance is limited to attorneys, parties, necessary witnesses, and press in matters that cannot be continued.  The following persons may be denied entry to the courthouse: A person may be denied entry to the courthouse if: ·       They have within 14 days visited China, Iran, South Korea, Europe, or other high-risk country designated by the CDC; ·       Been asked to quarantine or isolate his or herself by a doctor, hospital or health agency; ·       Been diagnosed with or had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19; ·       Has a fever, cough or shortness of breath or resides with...