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  • July 14, 2020

Court of Appeals of Maryland Decides Construction Case of First Impression Agreeing With FSB Argument

On May 26, 2020, the Court of Appeals of Maryland issued an opinion in the case of Gables Construction, Inc. v. Red Coats, Inc. that decided an important issue of first impression under Maryland law.  The question before the Court was whether there is a right to joint tort-feasor contribution where waiver of subrogation (common in construction contracts) bars the third-party defendant’s liability to the injured party.  The Court held that there is no such right, securing a major victory not only for Gables Construction (represented by Ferguson, Schetelich & Ballew), but also for all contractors and architects who operate under—and rely…

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  • May 5, 2016

Robert Ferguson Honored as a “Leader in Law”

On May 5, 2016, The Daily Record presented Ferguson, Schetelich & Ballew’s President, Robert L. Ferguson, Jr. with its “Leadership in Law” award at a banquet in Annapolis. The award honors “active mentors, fostering strong, future generations of professional and community leaders.” Recognizing Mr. Ferguson’s significant and ongoing commitment to the Maryland legal community, as well as a number of other honorees, the Daily Record’s Suzanne Fischer-Huettner said in a press release that honorees “work tirelessly to uphold high legal standards and improve communities throughout Maryland.” The Leadership in Law Award required significant support from the legal community. In support…

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  • March 13, 2015

Robert L. Ferguson, Jr. Argues Case of First Impression on Construction Insurance Coverage

Robert L. Ferguson, Jr. recently argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, regarding a question of a Subcontractor’s insurance company’s duty to defend a General Contractor when the construction failure was the fault of its subcontractor. At issue was whether the subcontractor’s insurance policy that extended coverage to the contractor for the subcontractor’s acts or omissions, would provide a defense if the subcontractor itself had not been sued, and the Complaint did not expressly identify the subcontractor as responsible. The particular language in the insurance endorsement has never before been addressed under Maryland law. It…

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  • June 24, 2014

Under Maryland Law, the Insurer has the Right to Select Defense Counsel Notwithstanding a Reservation of Rights for Non-Covered Claims

Conflicts between the insurer and the insured can arise from the fact that the duty to defend is much broader than the duty to indemnify. The insurer’s distinct and independent duty to defend its insured is triggered by claims that give rise to the “potentiality” of indemnification under the policy[1]. Litz v State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 346 Md. 217, 695 A.2d 566 (1997); Fireman’s Fund v Rairigh, 59 Md. App. 305, 320, 475 A.2d 509, 516, cert denied, 310 Md. 176 (1984); Rivera Beach Vol. Fire Co., Supra. As the Maryland Court of Appeals held in St. Paul…

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  • March 18, 2014

Maryland Court of Appeals Holds Exculpatory Clauses Valid and Enforceable Against Claims Made by a Minor Child

Exculpatory clauses have long been used as a means for protecting commercial enterprises, religious and charitable organizations, and other non-profits from potential liability for the consequences of conduct that would otherwise be negligent.  In Maryland, in the absence of legislation to the contrary, exculpatory clauses are generally valid, and public policy of freedom of contract is best served by enforcing provisions of exculpatory clauses.  Wolf v. Ford, 335 Md. 525, 644 A.2d 522 (1994).  Exculpatory clauses have been held valid and enforceable in a variety of situations.  Winterstein v. Wilcom, 16 Md. App. 130, 293 A.2d 821 (1972) (release and waiver of…

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