The mission of Piedmont Liability Trust is to serve the professional liability legal needs of the University of Virginia Physicians Group clinicians and to be a trusted resource for all of their health law and medical/legal issues.


The Trust serves as legal counsel to University of Virginia Physicians Group clinicians for medical professional liability matters related to patient care and provides liability and indemnity coverage for claims against Trust Covered Persons.


Patient Care Support

  • Physician/Patient Responsibilities
  • Termination of Patient Care
  • Informed Consent
  • Issues with Minors
  • Patient Competency
  • Patient Complaints
  • Subpoenas for Patient Records
  • Subpoenas for Treating Physician Testimony


Claims and Litigation

  • Patient or Lawyer Threatening Suit
  • Service of Lawsuit Papers
  • Inquiry from Media re: Claim or Lawsuit

Financial Services

  • The Trust funds professional liability losses for UVA Physicians Group employees for services provided on behalf of UVA.


Administrative Documents Provided upon Request

  • Terms of Coverage
  • Proof of Coverage
  • Claims History



Rebecca West, J.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Rebecca is responsible for the overall day-to-day management of the Trust. She has been CEO since creating the Trust in 1989. Rebecca specializes in health care and corporate law and is available for advice and counsel on health care matters. Rebecca sets annual funding rates based on actuarial studies, manages cash flow on a month to month basis, oversees investments and the investment policy and assures that the Trust has a clean annual audit by an outside audit firm.

John E. Peterson, Jr., J.D.

Litigation Counsel

John serves as Litigation Counsel for the Trust, representing Trust covered clinicians in medical malpractice cases.  John also provides general legal and risk management advice for clinical issues.

Bruce D. Gehle, J.D.

Chief Operating Officer

Bruce works with Rebecca to direct the Trust’s overall functions, including strategic planning, investment review, budgeting and funding requirements, premium assessments, cash flow, claims reserves and disposition, HIPAA compliance, supervision of Trust risk management, and oversight of legal service support to Trust Covered Persons.  Bruce directs Trust educational programming with an annual lecture series, and supports to the UVA School of Medicine’s Clinical Departments by providing focused medical/legal education to attendings and their housestaff.   Physicians also consult Bruce for specific advice on a broad range of health law matters including Board of Medicine investigations, OCR complaints, medical staff issues, fraud and abuse, contract review and negotiation, and legal issues with transitioning to outside employment.

Lance Frasier

Manager of Finance and Operations

Lance is responsible for managing the financial operations of the Trust, including accounting and reporting, audit, budget, and tax filings.   Lance is also in charge of the Trust’s Information Technology services.

Judy L. Fortineux, A.R.M.

Chief of Staff

Judy oversees Trust administrative staff and ensures efficient and effective support services for all areas of Trust responsibility.  She also handles many of the Trust’s human resource responsibilities including payroll and benefits.  She manages all Trust Covered Person databases and underwriting processes.  In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Judy coordinates and provides risk management services to Trust Covered Persons.  She is certified as a risk manager by the American Association of Health Care Risk Managers. She works in conjunction with Trust attorneys to provide day-to-day advice and assistance to Trust clinicians in addition to maintaining risk management records and data. Judy also facilitates providing proof of coverage and claims history upon request.

Brenna C. Crowley

Litigation Paralegal

Brenna is responsible for assisting the Trust Claims attorneys with defense of malpractice claims and cases filed against Trust Covered Persons.


Andrew G. H. Miller, J.D.

Associate Legal Counsel

Andrew provides legal advice and representation to Trust covered persons under the direction and supervision of the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel. He also participates in Trust educational programming and writes a blog on medical professional liability issues.



The Trust is also served by two Administrative Assistants, Tammy Tuthill and Venisha Best.

Ron Hodges


The Ronald D. Hodges Award is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the cooperative relationship between the sister professions of law and medicine.

Ron Hodges was an attorney who specialized in defending physicians, nurses and hospitals in medical malpractice litigation. He was a counselor, in every sense of the word, guiding the physicians and nurses who relied upon him through the personal and painful ordeal of litigation. Though Ron represented health professionals throughout the state, he had a special devotion to the University of Virginia Health System. He spent hours providing curbside consults, speaking to professional groups, and advising administrators, nurses and physicians without ever thinking about billing for his time. The legal and the medical professions lost a great friend and advocate when Ron unexpectedly passed away in 1998 at the age of fifty-three.

Gregory K. Peterson, CPCU, ARe, ARM

The Trust is proud to announce that Mr. Gregory K. Peterson as the recipient of the 2018 Hodges Award for Law & Medicine.  Mr. Peterson, of Willis Towers Watson, has worked with the Trust for many years as its primary reinsurance broker, thus helping provide excess insurance coverage protection to Trust Covered Persons.   Over the years he has generously shared his time and expertise on medical liability insurance issues with Trust counsel and staff. Mr. Peterson exemplifies the values and spirit of support we wish to recognize with the Hodges Award.


Trust Board of

Randolph J. Canterbury, M.D., Chair
J. Corey Feist, J.D., M.B.A., CEO, UPG
Chris A. Ghaemmaghami, M.D.
James Howell, J.D.
Karen Johnston, M.D.
Stephen S. Park, M.D.
Mitchell H. Rosner, M.D.
Peter T. Hallowell, M.D.
Scott A. Syverud, M.D.,Ex-Officio, President of Clinical Staff
Anita H.L. Clayton, M.D.
Jonathan D. Truwit, M.D., Non-UPG Clinician Director
Christopher A. Moskaluk, M.D.
R. Carter Scott, III, J.D., Vice-Chair
Rebecca W. West, J.D., Ex-Officio, Chief Executive Officer, PLT
Mark E. Shaffrey, M.D
A. Bobby Chhabra, M.D.
Robert P. Boren, CPA (retired)

Trust Executive Committee

Randolph J. Canterbury, M.D., Chair
Chris A. Ghaemmaghami, M.D.
Christopher A. Moskaluk, M.D.
R. Carter Scott, III, J.D. Vice-Chair
Mark E. Shaffrey, M.D.
Rebecca W. West, J.D.
Karen C. Johnston, M.D.
Robert P. Boren, CPA (retired)
A. Bobby Chhabra, M.D. Ex-Officio, UPG President
James Howell, J.D.
Scott Syverud, M.D.

 Claims Committee

Mark E. Shaffrey, M.D., Chair
Eugene D. McGahren, III, M.D., Vice-Chair
John M. Dent, M.D.
Megan J. Bray, M.D.
Julie A. Matsumoto, M.D.
Scott A. Syverud, M.D.

Adam Shimer, M.D.

Andrew Southerland, M.D.
Stuart M. Lowson, M.D.
Mohan Nadkarni M.D.

Christine Lau, M.D.

Rebecca W. West, J.D.
Mary Frances Southerland, J.D., UPG General Counsel


Rebecca W. West, J.D.
Raymond F. Morgan, M.D.

The Trustees are overseen by the Trust Board of Directors. Monthly oversight of Trust activities comes from the Trust Executive Committee. Oversight of claims handling comes from the Claims Committee.

Board Member


Learn More