skip to Main Content
  • May 26, 2020

How long until the “great unknown” becomes “the new normal”? Navigating Commercial General Liability Insurance in the age of the Covid-19

The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has and will continue to present novel issues in all facets or our lives.  The insurance arena is no exception.  Questions related to insurance claims, coverage, and defense have already begun to arise in the wake of Covid-19.  As the quickly changing landscape continues to evolve, particularly with communities and businesses beginning to reopen, these insurance related queries and considerations will increase and grow more complex and nuanced.   Businesses need to be aware of potential claims.  These could include allegations that a business negligently failed to protect or to warn third parties against the risks…

Read More
  • March 10, 2020

Don’t Forget About Federal Court: Considerations in analyzing removal under diversity jurisdiction

In defending complex civil matters, one important consideration is the question of whether the matter must stay in the state court in which plaintiff filed, or, is there a basis for removal to federal court.  Trying a matter in federal court could present a host of benefits.  They include a wider and deeper jury pool, avoiding feeling as if the matter is being tried on plaintiff’s “home turf,” and a more predictable application of procedural and substantive rules, authorities, customs, and practices.   The most common basis for seeking removal to federal court is where there is diversity of citizenship…

Read More
  • September 30, 2019

Flying High? Should Airlines fear judicial efforts to check their autonomy?

Airline travel is a distinctive means of transport, with the ability to move great distances, over varied terrain, in relatively short periods of time.  These characteristics which have made airplane travel atypical amongst transportation options, have also made it unique in the law. Specifically, under the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (“ADA”) federal authority preempts State authority, and the individual States are prohibited from regulating matters having a connection with or reference to airline rates, routes, or services.  See, for example, Morales v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 504 U.S. 374 (1992). However, the airlines’ exemption from State law is not…

Read More
  • November 29, 2018

Court Affirms Maryland Legislature’s Balance to the Collateral Source Rule

Historically, Maryland judicial proceedings have been bound by the “collateral source rule;” a rule that permits a tort plaintiff to recover the full value of the cost of treatment, and other economic losses, even to the extent that the value of the treatment, etc. exceeds the associated costs actually paid.  Juries are instructed that they are not to reduce an award for medical expenses and earnings losses based on a belief that the tort plaintiff has or will receive reimbursement or payment from another (collateral) source, such as a health insurance policy or paid sick days from an employer.  Likewise, introduction…

Read More
  • January 25, 2017

Ferguson, Schetelich & Ballew is Pleased to Announce That Jonathan D. Nelson Has Become a Principal of the Firm

Ferguson, Schetelich & Ballew, P.A. is pleased to announce that Jonathan D. Nelson has become a shareholder in the firm.  Mr. Nelson joined the firm as an associate attorney, and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 2009 after graduating magna cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law and following a clerkship with the Honorable Pamela J. White in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.  During his tenure at the firm, Mr. Nelson has demonstrated a unique and effective synthesis of creativity and tenacity in his general civil litigation and insurance defense practice.  He has garnered the…

Read More
  • June 29, 2016

Location, Location, Location: The More Complicated Side of Premises Liability Law

It is well established in Maryland premises liability matters that “the duty of care an owner or occupier of land owes a visitor varies, depending on whether the entrant is an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.”  Deboy v. City of Crisfield, 167 Md. App. 548, 555 (2006).  “The highest duty is that owed to an invitee; it is the duty to ‘use reasonable and ordinary care to keep [the] premises safe for the invitee and to protect [the invitee] from injury caused by an unreasonable risk which the invitee, by exercising ordinary care for [the invitee’s] own safety will not discover.’” …

Read More
  • October 30, 2015

When is Evidence of Liability Insurance Admissible Under Maryland Law?

It is well established under Maryland law that, typically, evidence of liability insurance is not admissible to determine whether a party is negligent. Such evidence is highly prejudicial and irrelevant to the issue of a defendant’s liability.  See Maryland Rule 5-411 and Accord Morris v. Weddington, 320 Md. 674 (1990).  However, a 2015, opinion from the Maryland Court of Special Appeals provides an interesting analysis and holding regarding the use of liability insurance evidence where the issue in question is an employer’s negligent hiring of an allegedly negligent employee, potentially opening the door for admissibility of liability insurance under certain…

Read More
  • September 4, 2014

Producing Documents Kept in the Regular Course of Business

The discovery process can create significant stress for parties involved in litigation.  One of the most onerous aspects of discovery, especially for businesses, is document production.  Document production often requires the disclosure of voluminous records, some of which may be several years old and may contain proprietary or sensitive information.  Electronic storage and retrieval capabilities have made the process easier, but responding to requests for production of documents remains burdensome. The burden has been made slightly less heavy by a ruling by a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.  In Kwasniewski v. Sanofi-Aventis U.S.…

Read More
  • April 1, 2014

Volunteer Immunity in Maryland

No matter how industrious, intelligent, and capable an individual may be, success or hardship in the world is often a product of timing and fortune.  Society has long recognized this fact.  As a result, people continue to be generous with their time and effort, volunteering to a host of worthy charitable causes and non-profit organizations.  Even the most benevolent individuals, however, are subject to the rule of law and risk the possibility of exposing themselves to legal action and liability.  It is crucial, therefore, that individuals become aware of the legal protection afforded to volunteers in Maryland and the limits…

Read More
Back To Top