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State ex rel. W. Va. University Hospitals, Inc. v. Honorable Scott

Court: Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

Docket: 21-0230

Opinion Date: November 22, 2021

Judge: Jenkins

Areas of Law: Personal Injury

This case law update is brought to you by Freeway Law auto accident and personal injury lawyers in Orange County. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information above is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

The Supreme Court granted as moulded a writ of prohibition challenging the rulings of the circuit court denying West Virginia University Hospitals, Inc.’s (WVUH) petition for declaratory judgment and WVUH’s motion to dismiss Respondents’ amended complaint, holding that the circuit court committed clear legal error.

Respondents filed a complaint alleging corporate negligence and other claims against WVUH. WVUH filed a combined answer and petition for declaratory judgment asking the circuit court to declare that the West Virginia Medical Professional Liability Act, W. Va. Code 55-7B-1 to -12 (MPLA) applied to Respondents’ corporate negligence allegations. Before the circuit court ruled on the petition for declaratory judgment, Respondents filed an amended complaint adding new corporate negligence claims but did not fulfill the MPLA’s pre-suit notice requirements. At issue was the circuit court’s denial of both WVUH’s petition for declaratory judgment and motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court granted a writ of prohibition, holding (1) the circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the corporate negligence claims added in the amended complaint due to Respondents’ failure to comply with the MPLA’s pre-suit notice requirements for these claims; and (2) litigation of the corporate negligence claims that were asserted in the original complaint, and for which the pre-suit notice requirements were satisfied, were governed by the MPLA.

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