Articles Posted in Maryland

Maryland and Georgia both have rulings on tap from their high courts on caps on economic damages. Georgia got the ball rolling yesterday when the Georgia Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday on whether its cap on damages for medical malpractice claims is constitutional. A Georgia medical malpractice lawyer argued for the Plaintiff that the tort reform law in 2005 is unconstitutional because it grants unfair preferences and exemptions to hospital emergency departments.

Plaintiffs have a real shot in this case. The Georgia high court has previously stuck down laws that gave special exemptions to asbestos manufacturers facing property claims. Stay tuned….

Settlement for $1.8 million was reached in a medical malpractice lawsuit where the jury this June awarded $4 million against an emergency room doctor. While that sounds like a major compromise, there is a cap on medical malpractice awards in Virginia, so the actual verdict after the cap was $1.8 million.

Plaintiff’s Virginia medical malpractice lawyers alleged that a doctor misdiagnosed their 25-year-old client’s heart condition. Plaintiff’s condition was eventually diagnosed by doctors at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore.

This case had complications in discovery because of a problem I have discussed before: one lawyer representing all the doctors (you can find the details in this article on the case). Defense medical malpractice lawyers love when doctors lock hands and sing “all for one, one for all.” The problem is that this invariably leads to conflicts when the doctors could very easily point at each other.

The Maryland Court of Appeals decided Pittway v. Collins last month, a tragic case involving a lawsuit that arose out of a fire that took two lives in Montgomery County in 1998. A burning candle caused the fire in the basement, where the children – guests of the tenants of the house – were sleeping. The children lit the candle during an electrical outage caused by thunderstorms and the HVAC powered smoke detector that had no backup was not operational. Making the problem worse, the basement was a windowless basement bedroom that did not have proper egress.

Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against a chain of defendants for failing to supply an adequate fire alarm: the builder, the landlord, the electrical subcontractor, the city rental inspector, and the home improvement company that renovated the basement four years earlier.

After settlements and summary judgment, everyone got out of the case except for the builder and the manufacturer. Both filed motions for summary judgment, before the discovery deadline, that intervening negligent acts superseded the claims against them. The trial court granted the motions. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals reversed.

The Orlando Sentinel (via Overlawyered) has an interesting article taking a detailed look at statistics surrounding theme park lawsuits. This is not your garden variety media article of a legal trend. It has detailed breakdown of the lawsuits filed against theme parks, and through statistics and interviews, sets the game plan of Disney theme parks, and I think to a similar but lesser extent, its brethren when facing a lawsuit: wage elongated war, make discovery brutal for accident lawyers and their clients, and settle the cases you think you might not win – particularly those cases you might prolifically not win.

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Virginia Lawyers Weekly reports on an insane case in Virginia where an emergency room doctor in Hampton received a defense verdict.

After a night of partying, the decedent and his friend got into a dispute over whether the decedent would drive drunk from Hampton back home to Atlanta with his 4-year-old son. The best friend did what best friends usually do – he stabbed him in the thigh.

The decedent was taken to the emergency room. Plaintiff’s malpractice lawsuit claimed that the emergency room doctor should have sought out detailed information about the length of the knife. The defendant was told only that the decedent was stabbed with a knife and that the length of the blade was unknown. The defendant assumed it was a small blade.

The Baltimore Injury Lawyer Blog has a post on a Maryland Daily Record article looking at how President-Elect Barack Obama might change the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals which includes Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

I’ve spent far more time thinking about how President Obama will change the country than his impact on lawyers or even my own clients. But President Obama will nominate judges that I will stand before and argue. While I think President Bush has nominated a lot of good judges, this fact makes me a little happier to be a lawyer today. I’m not saying every plaintiffs’ lawyer will have a better shot at success in front of judges nominated by Obama. I just think they are likely to be fair and reasonable judges.

Mr. Miller:

Hi, I am a Maryland attorney and would like to get little mentoring on any differences between an unidentified motorist claim and an uninsured motorist claim. Please call or send me an email and I promise I’ll be brief. Thanks so much for any help!

Dear Maryland Attorney:

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