Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Subtitle .
Chapter 16. Compromises
3/2/2024

Chapter 16. Compromises.

§ 8.01-424. Approval of compromises on behalf of persons under a disability in suits or actions to which they are parties.

A. In any action or suit wherein a person under a disability is a party, the court in which the matter is pending shall have the power to approve and confirm a compromise of the matters in controversy on behalf of such party, including claims under the provisions of any liability insurance policy, if such compromise is deemed to be to the interest of the party. Any order or decree approving and confirming the compromise shall be binding upon such party, except that the same may be set aside for fraud.

B. In case of damage to the person or property of a person under a disability, caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of any person, when death did not ensue therefrom, any person or insurer interested in compromise of any claim for such damages, including any claim under the provisions of any liability insurance policy, may, upon motion to the court in which the action is pending for the recovery of damages on account of such injury, or if no such action is pending, then to any circuit court, move the court to approve the compromise. The court shall require the movant to give reasonable notice of such motion to all parties and to any person found by the court to be interested in the compromise.

C. A compromise action involving a claim for wrongful death shall be in accordance with the applicable provisions of § 8.01-55. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the provisions of § 8.01-76.

D. In any compromise action, the court shall direct the payment of the proceeds of the compromise agreement, when approved, as follows:

1. Payment of the sum into court as provided by § 8.01-600 or to the general receiver of such court;

2. In the case of damage to the person or property of a minor, by investment in a college savings trust account for which the minor is the beneficiary pursuant to a college savings trust agreement with the Virginia College Savings Plan as set forth in subsection B of § 23.1-707, provided that (i) the investment options pursuant to such agreement are restricted to target enrollment portfolios; (ii) the order or decree approving and confirming the compromise requires the minor beneficiary's parent, as that term is defined in § 22.1-1, to act as the custodian of the account; and (iii) except in the case of a distribution from the account to be applied toward the minor beneficiary's qualified higher education expenses, as that term is defined in § 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or other applicable federal law, the order or decree approving and confirming the compromise prohibits the minor beneficiary's parent from making any transfer, withdrawal, termination, or other account transaction unless the court provides prior approval pursuant to a written order;

3. To a duly qualified fiduciary of the person under a disability, after due inquiry as to the adequacy of the bond of such fiduciary;

4. As provided in § 8.01-606; or

5. Where the agreement of settlement provides for payments to be made over a period of time in the future, whether such payments are lump sum, periodic, or a combination of both, the court shall approve the settlement only if it finds that all payments which are due to be made are (i) secured by a bond issued by an insurance company authorized to write such bonds in this Commonwealth or (ii) to be made or irrevocably guaranteed by an insurance company or companies authorized to do business in this Commonwealth and rated "A plus" (A+) or better by Best's Insurance Reports. Payments made under this subdivision totaling not more than $4,000 in any calendar year may be paid in accordance with § 8.01-606. Payments made under this subdivision totaling more than $4,000 in any calendar year while the recipient is under a disability shall be paid to a duly qualified fiduciary after due inquiry as to adequacy of the bond of such fiduciary.

E. Payments made under this section, in the case of damage to the person or property of a minor, may be made payable in the discretion of the court to the parent or guardian of the minor to be held in trust for the benefit of the minor. Any such trust shall be subject to court approval and the court may provide for the termination of such trust at any time following attainment of majority which the court deems to be in the best interest of the minor. In an order authorizing the trust or additions to an existing trust, the court may order that the trustee thereof be subject to the same duty to qualify in the clerk's office and to file an inventory and annual accountings with the commissioner of accounts as would apply to a testamentary trustee.

Code 1950, §§ 8-169, 8-170; 1956, c. 575; 1960, cc. 301, 302; 1964, c. 500; 1970, c. 10; 1977, c. 617; 1985, c. 499; 1988, c. 409; 1991, cc. 97, 257; 1993, c. 945; 1994, c. 39; 1998, cc. 584, 607, 610; 2009, c. 688; 2022, c. 535.

§ 8.01-424.1. Settlement of third-party action; deemed consent by employer.

In any action or claim for damages by an employee, his personal representative, or other person against any person other than the employer, in which the employer has an interest pursuant to § 65.2-309, where the employer fails to consent to an offer of settlement acceptable to the employee, his personal representative or other person, such person may petition the court where the action is pending for approval of the settlement. Where no action is pending, or such action is pending in a state other than Virginia, the petition may be filed in any circuit court in which venue will lie as to the employee pursuant to § 8.01-262. The petition shall state the compromise, its terms, and the reason therefor. The court in which such petition is filed shall require the convening of the parties in interest in person or by an authorized representative. The parties in interest shall be deemed convened if twenty-one days notice of the hearing and proposed compromise was served pursuant to §§ 8.01-296, 8.01-299, 8.01-300, 8.01-301, or Rule 1:12 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, as applicable. In the case of an insured employer, service shall also be made on the workers compensation insurer's registered agent or counsel. During the twenty-one day notice period, the person making the settlement offer to the employee shall make himself reasonably available to answer questions under oath by the employee, employer, or employer's workers compensation insurer concerning matters relating to such person's financial condition that are known or reasonably available to such person.

If the court determines that the settlement is fair and just to the parties in interest, it shall approve such settlement. In no event shall the court have jurisdiction to reduce or otherwise compromise the subrogation interest created pursuant to § 65.2-309. The employer, if aggrieved by the court's decision, may appeal. Should the employer's appeal be denied or decided adversely to the employer, the employer shall pay interest at the judgment rate on the full settlement amount until the date of the denial of the appeal or date the final adverse decision is rendered against the employer. Should the settlement include periodic payments into the future, the value of the settlement amount, discounted to present value, shall be determined in calculating interest due from the employer. Once the decision is final and all appeals, if any, have been exhausted, and because the employer's subrogation interest has not been compromised, the decision approving the settlement shall be deemed consent to the settlement by the employer.

2002, c. 751.

§ 8.01-425. How fiduciaries may compromise liabilities due to or from them.

Any fiduciary may compromise any liability due to or from him, provided that such compromise be ratified and approved by a court of competent jurisdiction, all parties in interest being before such court by proper process. When such compromise shall have been so ratified and approved, it shall be binding on all parties in interest before such court. Nothing contained in this section shall affect the right of indemnity or of contribution among the parties.

Code 1950, §§ 8-171, 8-173; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-425.1. Release of liability; right of rescission.

When a claimant or plaintiff executes a release of liability as a condition of settlement in a claim or action for personal injury within thirty days of the incident giving rise to such claim, such claimant or plaintiff shall have a right of rescission until midnight of the third business day after the day on which the release was executed, provided that he was not represented by counsel when the release was executed, the rescission was made in writing to the person or persons being released, their representative or insurance carrier, and the claimant returns to the person or persons being released any check or settlement proceeds received by the claimant prior to the rescission. A release of liability executed within thirty days of the incident giving rise to the claim for personal injury by a person who is not represented by counsel shall contain a notice of the claimant's or the plaintiff's right to rescind conspicuously and separately stated on the release.

1999, c. 326; 2000, c. 839.