In a hair splitting decision on June 5, 1980, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled in James v. Jane, that attending physicians at the University of Virginia Hospital are not immune from tort liability but affirmed that the state, interns and residents of state hospitals, and employees of the state still enjoy tort immunity. The court made a distinction between the sovereign Commonwealth of Virginia and its employees, and a governmental agency created by the Commonwealth and its employees. However, apparently not all state employees are immune; and not all employees of state agencies are subject to tort liability.

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