COVID-19 Notice: We are providing FREE consultations via phone or video conferencing for your safety and convenience. Learn More »

Articles Posted in Legal News

The first negligence lawsuit arising from the Covid-19 pandemic has already been filed. On March 9, 2020, a couple sued Princess Cruises for their experience onboard the Grand Princess Cruise ship. An outbreak of Covid-19 on the Grand Princess resulted in 28 or more cases of the virus.

There will be a ton of lawsuits that directly or indirectly involve the coronavirus.  Like the virus itself, I can’t figure out quite how it will all play out.  But it will be a big thing for years to come, even long after this virus is hopefully long gone or controlled.

Background of This Case

It’s been less than a month since the tragic helicopter accident in the Santa Monica Mountains that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and 7 other people. Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, has already sued the helicopter operating company and the pilot.

Vanessa Bryant is the named plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Los Angles County Superior Court against Island Express Helicopters and the estate of Ara Zobayan, the pilot who died in the crash.

Because the issues in this wrongful death case are so well-known to so many of us, I thought there might be some wisdom in breaking down the claim, how this case will play out, and why I would have waited to file suit.  I also talk about the differences if Maryland law applied to this case.

This is a rare post that does not involve a personal injury case. I’m writing this case because it has a real impact on how people view the civil justice system which has a real impact on my clients.

The 2018 NFC Championship

Even a casual football fan remembers the controversy surrounding this year’s NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams. The Saints were on the verge of sealing a victory in the closing minutes when the referees fail to call a blatant pass interference penalty on the Rams. I was watching the game with my family rooting for the Rams and I still thought the call was ridiculous.

maryland plaintiff attorneysInsurance companies in Maryland are now required to disclose upon request from the victim or their personal injury attorney the amount of insurance coverage their client may have.  So you can find out from day one, how much coverage might be available to satisfy your client’s injury claim. This law went into effect on October 1, 2015.  If you are a Maryland personal injury lawyer, you’re probably in the top 1% of your colleagues in knowing of the existence of this law.  I think it is a well-kept secret because I don’t believe any lobbying went into this effort.  No one is climbing over themselves to claim credit for it. Just the Maryland General Assembly doing their job.  Who knew?

Continue reading

A new wrongful death lawsuit alleges that Fast and Furious star, Paul Walker, survived the impact of the high-speed car crash that cost him his life. It alleges that hejury skepticism plaintiffs could have gotten out of the car but for a defective design of his Porsche Carrera GT.  The suit claims that Walker could have avoided the fire except that his seat belt “snapped Walker’s torso back with thousands of pounds of force, thereby breaking his ribs and pelvis,” which made an escape impossible.

That is one allegation.  The lawsuit also alleges the car should have had a stability system that prevents swerving.  Also, the side door was too close to the fuel line, and that the car had a history of control problems.  The claim concludes that the Porsche Carrera GT is a dangerous car that does not belong on the road.  It seems like a real reach.

Continue reading

Bill Cosby has been in the news a bit.  As you know, dozens of women have alleged that Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them. The claims date back to the 1960s, with the allegedsample rape lawsuit victims ranging from random women that Cosby encountered to other celebrities. A recent lawsuit even alleged that Cosby assaulted underage women. Obviously, some very serious allegations.

A few lawsuits have been filed already, but most of them allege defamation or some other cause of action – separate from sexual assault. Why? Because most of these claims allege conduct after the statute of limitations expired.  Of course, someone will try to end-run the statute of limitations.  But as Americans are now seeing, statutes of limitation are cruelly unforgiving, even when anyone’s sense of justice and fair play are pitted against it.

But what would a lawsuit against Bill Cosby even look like? Specifically, what would a lawsuit against Bill Cosby look like, if filed in the state of Maryland?  Sexual assault and rape are not their own torts – but they are crimes.  These torts may be brought forward and filed in a civil lawsuit for these crimes.

Continue reading

I hate the New England Patriots. I started rooting against them the minute they started getting good in 2001.  While I hate Tom Brady as a byproduct, I have to admit that — notwithstanding picking judgesmaybe Bridget Moynahan — he is pretty much the epitome of what we want our great athletes to be.

Adding to my hatred of the Patriots, I’ve sued — and settled — a malpractice case against the Pats in which they took a score of ridiculous positions, including the position that the claim should be arbitrated by the CBA, a claim they first made years after the case was filed.  Their arrogance over the course of the case was pretty much what you would expect.  The idea of settlement was completely ridiculous until the point where it wasn’t.  But I long admired their winning and, it goes without saying, the breadth and scope of their evil.

Over the years, one theme I have revisited on my blogs is the distorted perception people have in regards to our civil justice system’s administration of personal injury cases.  In my mind, there are two main distorters – maybe a word I made up – that mislead people: large jury verdicts and how the civil justice system treats famous people.  Prime example: Tom Brady’s Deflategate lawsuit which I really think underscores some of these distortions.

Continue reading

university of baltimore law ranking

2019 Update: We are #119.  Which is some progress.  We can do better and we will.

The U.S. News and World Report rankings came out today (I wrote this in 2015.).   It was not a good day for the University of Baltimore School of Law: ranked #135 among U.S. law schools.

Of course, this post will assume that U.S. News & World Report is relevant to anything.   When was the last time you paid a moment’s attention to this magazine that did not involve looking at school rankings?  The answer is probably 10 years ago.  But it is because people care about it.  But whether it reflects quality is anyone’s guess.

What Happened?

I don’t know.  You have to appreciate that the University of Baltimore School of Law has been on a crazy roll in recent years.   After falling and falling, its ranking with U.S News had been soaring higher each year.   But the real kicker is the new building they opened last year.  The old UB was a rat hole.  We can say that now. It really was.  The new building is just stunning.  It has anything you could ever want to teach or to receive an education in, and do it in style.  Even Above the Law, which has snarky commentary on the color of the sky, had positive things to say about the design of the building.

Continue reading

pit bull law marylandOne of the most highly commented blog posts I have had here was when the Maryland Court of Appeals decided Tracey v. Solesky, one of the rare appellate opinions that seemed to make everyone mad.  Tracy carved out a pit bull exception and make pit bull owners pretty much strictly liable.

Everything, in this case, was goofy.  The court even came back with an amended opinion – how often does that happen? – to say that mixed breeds are not strictly liable which, theoretically, would make the key to the case the tracing of the dog’s bloodlines.

Pit bull lovers and owners demanded that the Internet be shut down.   Their passion – and their statistics – forced me to do something rare on the Internet: change my opinion in midstream. Whoever said screaming at someone on the Internet can’t change hearts and minds?

This passion pushed the Maryland Senate last week to unanimously pass a bill that eliminated breed distinctions. Which, is bad news for victims of pit bull attacks (and, let’s face it, plaintiffs’ lawyers).  The Senate bill throws a bone — literally no pun originally intended until after I wrote it — to victims by creating strict liability for canines who attack while running at large.  But, let’s be honest, that is not most pit bull attacks.  About 70% of dog bites occur on the owner’s property.

The one thing that struck me about the anti- Tracey opinion zealots is that they rarely opposed strict liability on dogs.  There seemed to be some receptivity to the idea that the problem in dog bite cases is not bad dogs but irresponsible dog owners.

Continue reading

marijuana use defense argument

Plaintiff should have used marijuana?

People get in car accidents and they get badly hurt.  So insurance defense lawyers end up making some crazy arguments.  But in  Glesby v. MacMillian, a Maryland car accident case, the defendant reached a new height of insanity: arguing that the plaintiff should have used marijuana to mitigate her damages.

(Okay, okay… this is not an actual Maryland case.  And, right, it is not even in the U.S.   It is Great Britain in British Columbia.  (That’s Canada? Oh.) Anyway, forgive me.  The story was just a lot more fun that way.  Sorry.)

How This “You Should Have Taken Marijuana” Argument Came to Be

Glesby involved a 28 year-0ld woman who got rear-ended.  Pretty common set of facts. She racks up about $17,000 in bills.  (That’s Canadian money. My sources tell me they are too proud to use our money, so instead, they using money with the Queen of England on it. Perplexing.)

Okay, enough of the stand-up act, which I’m not great at, anyway.  The plaintiff files suit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, which sounds fancy, but it is just their trial court.  It is a bench trial.  Plaintiff claims continued discomfort in her neck, shoulder, and upper back after the crash.  The Defendant argues that the Plaintiff’s injuries would not have been as bad if she had taken medical marijuana.

Continue reading

Contact Information