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Commonwealth's Counties

VACo Opposes Bill Eroding Sovereign Immunity for Medical Care Providers in Local or Regional Correctional Facilities

SB 1379 (Deeds), as introduced, waives sovereign immunity for health care providers employed by localities or by local or regional correctional facilities to provide medical services to prisoners for a claim of wrongful death or injury resulting from a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the provision of such medical services.

VACo , VML and the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association spoke in opposition to the bill as sovereign immunity is an important tool for localities in performing their governmental functions.  If employees are faced with being sued personally, it will become more difficult to hire for many positions and the cost of operating government services will dramatically increase.

The bill was amended by the patron to apply to physicians rather than the broader language of health care providers, and it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a narrow margin of 8-7. VACo will continue to oppose this bill as it progresses.

VACo Contact: Phyllis Errico, Esq., CAE

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