The Virginia General Assembly, in recognition of a modem medical society, has abolished the presumption which favors the application of a "same or similar" locale standard to determine the requisite care of a health care provider. The "same or similar" standard has been used consistently since 1918 in malpractice litigation and, more recently, in proceedings before the medical malpractice review panels in Virginia. This standard was first adopted by statute in 1977, and though it appeared to intend a broader standard than the local standard, it was in fact interpreted as a clear statutory adoption of the Virginia case law rule. The new statute, repealing the 1977 statute, adopts the statewide standard of care as the presumption which now can only be rebutted by a "preponderance of the evidence" that, in consideration of local customs and practice, another standard would be "more appropriate."
John Y. Richardson Jr.,
Virginia Abolishes Locality Rule in Medical Malpractice,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol13/iss4/11