HB289: Admission of liability; expressions of sympathy are inadmissible as evidence in any civil action.

Offered January 11, 2006
Prefiled January 4, 2006
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 8.01-418.1:1, relating to admissibility of expressions of sympathy.
Patrons-- Cox and O'Bannon

Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 8.01-418.1:1 as follows:

§ 8.01-418.1:1. Admissibility of expressions of sympathy.

In any civil action or proceeding, statements, writings, benevolent conduct, or benevolent gestures expressing sympathy or a general sense of benevolence, relating to the pain, suffering, or death of a person involved in an accident and made to such person or to the family of such person, shall be inadmissible as evidence of admission of liability.

For purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

"Accident" means an occurrence resulting in injury or death to one or more persons that is not the result of willful conduct by a party.

"Benevolent gestures" means actions that convey a sense of compassion, sorrow, or commiseration emanating from human impulses.

"Family" means the spouse, parent, grandparent, stepmother, stepfather, child, grandchild, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, or the parents of the spouse of an injured party.