Articles Posted in Featured Lawsuits

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I was in Florida after Christmas and completely missed the Maryland Court of Special Appeals opinion in Ayala v. Lee, a truck collision case in Anne Arundel County where the plaintiffs were two undocumented aliens who were rear ended near Annapolis.

After crossing the Bay Bridge, the driver of the plaintiffs’ vehicle stopped the truck and pulled clearly onto the shoulder on Route 50 to fix a problem with the windshield.  They put half the vehicle in the grass, off the shoulder.  The driver also activated the  emergency flashers.  In other words, they were doing exactly what they should have done under the circumstances.  After getting the wipers fixed, their truck was rear-ended by another truck.  The driver who was with the Plaintiffs was killed and the Plaintiffs themselves were badly injured.

This is a slam dunk on liability, right?  Somehow it goes to the jury on the question of liability. Continue reading →

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Malpractice case dismissed

Maryland appellate court kicks malpractice case

Before the holidays, the Court of Special Appeals issued a new opinion dealing with medical malpractice actions.  The case, Puppolo, v. Adventist Healthace, Inc., et al., is a perfect example of how difficult it can be to litigate a medical malpractice claim when you don’t understand and/or abide by the procedural and statutory “rules” Maryland has in place.  (You can read the case here.)  I know that slogging through statutes can be really tedious and boring, but when it comes to med mal, there are no excuses.  You’ve just gotta do it.  Maybe this cautionary tale case will shed some light… Continue reading →

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gavel court houseThe Maryland Court of Appeals decided Espina v. Prince George’s County  last week.  The opinion is not a good one if you care about justice.  

I have written here two times how awful governmental immunities are.   But I think the topic is inexhaustible, like Doris Kearns Goodwin digging even deeper into Lincoln’s life.  The unfairness of protecting government when they hurt someone is just plain wrong.  In 2014, they just don’t make any sense. Virtually everyone agrees they lead to grave injustice.  Yet no one really cares. Continue reading →

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badfaithlaw

California insurance law is far more generous than ours in Maryland

I’m glad to say that our firm has had a number of verdicts in recent years that exceeded the insurance policy of the at-fault driver.   In almost all of these cases – there is one exception  - we made a demand for the insurance policy limits.    Why?  Because we knew they would not pay the policy limits and we were trying to set up our bad faith case after an excess verdict.

Insurance companies have a duty to their insured try to settle a case within policy limits if it is reasonable to do so.  In every Maryland case we have had, the “reasonable to do so” never gets flushed out because the insurance company does the right thing and pays the policy.
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taxiuninsured

Can you make a UM claim against a taxi?

Question: I am a New Jersey resident who was in a car accident taking a cab back to BWI airport.  The taxi cab driver was probably speeding the accident was not his fault – someone just pulled out on us.  I saw the whole thing.  The driver who caused this mess had insurance with Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund which I’m told will have little insurance coverage.  The taxi cab company told me they have no uninsured motorist insurance.  Is this actually true?  Someone told me that every car has uninsured motorist coverage and that the coverage limits are the same as the liability limits.   Is this true?

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allstatecounsel

How much does Allstate pay outside counsel?

The answer in Maryland appears to be around $135 an hour for a senior lawyer.

Here’s how I know. One of my colleagues here was in court yesterday and saw a motions hearing.  This issue was unbelievably petty. Plaintiff’s lawyer failed to show for a deposition because he overslept, forgot, or something. Totally innocent.  He said he was sorry.  Allstate’s counsel – outside counsel, not in-house – wanted $500 in sanctions for having to appear at the deposition.  Why so petty?  I can’t tell you.  But I do know that while there are a lot of insurance defense lawyers that are wonderful people, it is fair to say that they blow past all other professions in the number of people per capita who would say, “I’ve enjoyed this dinner with you; now let’s go though this check line by line and figure out who owes what” after dinner with the neighbors.

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lawandreligionThree years ago when Reptile came out – the book that has revolutionized how many plaintiffs’ attorneys approach a tort case – I wrote what I thought was an interesting post about the use of religion at trial based on the research provided in the book.   The premise was that  the rules of Scripture are power rules that guide the thinking not only of the pious but  command authority as the “ultimate rules” for not only the faithful but the agnostic and even atheists.

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PIP Insurance Premiums

Does a PIP Claim Increase Your Insurance Premiums?

Many of us fear – some irrationally – our car insurance rising. Most people assume that making a PIP claim will lead to an increase in your insurance premiums.  In Maryland, they no longer can. This article explains our law.
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The Maryland Court of Appeals issued an important opinion that is helpful for plaintiffs’ lawyers, albeit attorneys who are not on top of their game when it comes to getting their case ready for trial. I just got back from vacation last week and found it interesting enough to put down the 1,000 things that I have to do and read it.
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