skip to Main Content
  • 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
  • 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,…

Read More
  • 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…

Read More
  • 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…

Read More
  • 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…

Read More
  • 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.…

Read More
  • November 11, 2014

Imposing a Lien Processing Fee May Lead to a Violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act

On October 7, 2014, the Court of Special Appeals issued its opinion in Allstate Lien & Recovery Corp. v. Stansbury that a processing fee may not be part of a garageman’s lien and, additionally, that the charging of the processing fee violated the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act. The scenario in Stansbury is fairly ordinary: a man brought his automobile to the repair shop, signed off on the repairs, and then was unable to pay his bill. The repair shop filed a lien on the automobile in order to satisfy the customer’s debt. A lien is attached to the automobile,…

Read More
  • October 28, 2014

Evidence of Immigration Status in a Personal Injury Case

In the case of Ayala v. Lee, 215 Md. App. 457, 81 A.3d 584 (2013), the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland held that evidence of a plaintiff’s status as an undocumented immigrant can be admissible in a personal injury action if the evidence is relevant and not prejudicial.  This lawsuit arose out of a motor vehicle accident in which Rigoberto E. Domingos Ayala and Jose R. Rodas Santacruz sustained severe injuries while they were working for their employer Ebb Tide Tents and Party Rentals.  Ayala, Santacruz, and Ayala’s wife filed a lawsuit against Robert F. Lee, the driver of…

Read More
  • October 13, 2014

Maryland Taverns Shielded from Liability Caused by Intoxicated Patrons — For Now

In Warr v. JMGM Group, LLC, 433 Md. 170 (2013), the Court of Appeals of Maryland reaffirmed that taverns, bars or others who serve alcohol are not liable for serving visibly intoxicated patrons who thereafter cause automobile accidents.  In Warr, Michael Eaton spent approximately six (6) hours at Dogfish Head Alehouse drinking roughly twenty-one alcoholic drinks, and he became “violent and aggressive.”  While Mr. Eaton was being served at Dogfish Head Alehouse, he was “‘clearly intoxicated.’”  Mr. Eaton left the bar and was traveling between eighty-eight (88) to ninety-eight (98) miles per hour when he struck another vehicle, which caused…

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
Back To Top