Sunday, March 19, 2006

E.D. Va. upholds Virginia law on viatical settlements

The Richmond paper reports here that Judge Hudson of the E.D. Va. has rejected a constitutional challenge to Virginia's viatical settlement law, concluding that it does not discriminate against out-of-state businesses.

The article says in part:

"In Richmond, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, however, ruled that the SCC had jurisdiction over the company because it contacted Doe in Virginia. Furthermore, the judge ruled that Virginia law treats in-state and out-of-state companies the same and does not discriminate against interstate commerce. The law appears to be an appropriate use of the state's police powers, Hudson wrote.

Virginia's law has a legitimate purpose, which is to protect dying Virginians who sell their life insurance, Hudson wrote. "It is obvious to the court that a terminally-ill person . . . is in a particularly vulnerable position and could easily fall prey to sharp business practices and fraud."

Hudson ruled that Virginia's law must be upheld because it serves a legitimate Virginia interest and affects interstate commerce in only an incidental way."

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