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  • June 1, 2016

Admissibility of Disiplinary Action Against Medical Experts in Maryland

Many attorneys tend to gravitate toward experts they have used in the past, which should not surprise anyone.  If you have a positive experience with an expert, then you will likely look to use the same expert again in the future when the need arises.  If you have been injured and hire an attorney to represent you, then he or she will decide with you whether the case would benefit from an expert.  This could be a liability expert, a medical expert, or both. If you have a medical expert who was not a treating physician, it is usually to…

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  • April 15, 2016

Recent Strict Liability Case Contains Important Lesson for Parties and Practitioners

In early March 2016, a small-town dispute reached the Maryland Court of Appeals and somewhat surprisingly garnered coverage in several prominent local publications, including The Frederick News Post,[1] The Daily Record,[2] and The Washington Post.[3]  In Toms v. Calvary Assembly of God, Inc., Mr. Toms, a dairy farmer in Walkersville, Maryland, sued the Calvary Assembly of God (“the Church”), alleging that the noise from the Church’s fireworks display on an adjacent farm caused Mr. Toms’s cows to stampede.  In the stampede, several of Mr. Toms’s cows sustained injuries, and some died.  After Mr. Toms lost in both the District Court…

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  • February 22, 2016

Destruction of Physical Evidence at the Core of a Claim Can Result in Dismissal Under Maryland Law

In a decision filed February 1, 2016 and drafted by Judge Douglas Nazarian, the Court of Special Appeals underscored the importance of preserving physical evidence at issue in a lawsuit, especially when the physical evidence “is itself the subject of the case.”  Cumberland Ins. Group v. Delmarva Power, 72 Sept. Term 2015, Slip Op. at 8 (Feb. 1, 2016).  Destroying or failing to preserve such evidence may result in sanctions more stringent than a jury instruction of an unfavorable inference and, instead, may warrant an outright dismissal of the spoliating party’s claim. The case involves a fire at a home…

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  • January 27, 2016

Robert L. Ferguson, Jr. and Ann D. Ware Win Another Coverage Case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

  Robert L. Ferguson, Jr. and Ann D. Ware won another appeal argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  This is their second successful 4th Circuit appeal in the span of a few months.  In this most recent matter, Mr. Ferguson argued that a Crew Provision in a marine insurance policy was unambiguous and that a reasonably prudent layperson construing the policy would conclude that there was no coverage for the Appellant.   In an unpublished opinion, the Fourth Circuit agreed with Mr. Ferguson and affirmed the United States District Court for the District of Maryland’s…

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  • 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…

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  • August 24, 2015

Risk Management in the Sports & Entertainment Industry

In the Sports & Entertainment industry, proper risk management prior to, during, and after each event is critical to success.  As an event organizer, you want your patrons to enjoy themselves and you want them to do so safely, so you must employ a good plan, skillful execution, and thorough post-event analysis.  Event management cannot be static.  It must be fluid and responsive.  Constantly improving and modifying your risk management practices can help prevent lawsuits or prepare you whenever one is filed.  These ten tips are intended to help you think about ways in which your invitees may get injured,…

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  • July 14, 2015

Robert L. Ferguson, Jr. and Ann D. Ware Win Case of First Impression on Construction Insurance Coverage

In March, we posted an article reporting that Robert L. Ferguson, Jr. had argued a question of first impression before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  At issue was a standard ISO insurance endorsement used extensively by contractors and subcontractors that defines when the subcontractor’s insurer must provide a defense to a general contractor as an additional insured. Although this ISO endorsement (CG-20-10-07-04) was in wide use, Maryland case law had never determined the question of whether an insurer is required to defend the additional insured when the Complaint, upon which a defense and indemnity is…

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  • April 27, 2015

Time for a Uniform Procedure for Minor Settlements in Maryland

In Maryland, if a minor is injured, a claim is presented on behalf of the minor by the minor’s parents or guardians.  Frequently, these claims are resolved before suit is even filed.  Since minors cannot themselves execute binding releases, the defendants and sometimes even the parents or guardians require a judicial determination that the settlement is a final resolution of the minor’s claim so that the child cannot reassert the claim upon attaining the age of majority.  Unfortunately, there is no uniform procedure or rule in Maryland to guide the parties or the courts in this regard.  Sometimes, the parties…

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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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  • December 10, 2014

Must a Public University Provide Closed Captioning for Hearing-Impaired Spectators Attending Live Athletic Events?

Dr. Joseph Innes, Daniel Rinas, and Sean Markel (“Plaintiffs”) filed a lawsuit against the University of Maryland claiming that the university does not provide an equal opportunity to enjoy, benefit from, or participate in watching athletic events equivalent to that of individuals without hearing disabilities. The Plaintiffs, all of whom have a hearing disability, contend that the university excludes them from participating as spectators (and as fans) of live sporting events by failing to reasonably accommodate their disability. The Plaintiffs brought this action under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the “ADA”), and the Rehabilitation Act.…

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