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Amicus Curiae Cases

 

2010

Burnside v. Wong, 412 Md. 180, 986 A.2d 427 (2010). 
Affirming transfer of venue to Circuit Court for Baltimore County in medical negligence case.  (James K. MacAlister)

Lockshin v. Semsker, 412 Md. 257, 987 A.2d 18 (2010).
Holding that the provisions of CJ § 3-2A-09 apply in cases in which pre-suit arbitration is waived by one or more parties, and upholding the collateral source rule in medical negligence actions.  (George S. Tolley, III, David M. Kopstein)

DRD Pool Service, Inc., v. Freed, 416 Md. 46, 5 A.3d 45 (2010).
Affirming the constitutionality of the Maryland statutory cap on non-economic damages in a case involving the drowning death of a child, and also holding that expert opinion evidence and testimony concerning child’s conscious pre-death suffering was sufficient to support the estate’s survival action.

Powell v. Breslin, 195 Md. App. 340, 6 A.3d 360 (2010), aff’d, 421 Md. 266, 26 A.3d 878 (2011).
The proper statutory sanction in medical negligence action for filing certificate of expert witness who does not meet the statutory qualifications is dismissal without prejudice.

Daee v. Lucas, Case No. 2009-2485 (Md. App. 2010). 
Holding that expert witnesses for the plaintiff were properly permitted to offer opinion testimony concerning the applicable standard of care, over the “locality rule” objections of the defense.  (George S. Tolley III)

 

2009

Ochs v. Hayward, 407 Md. 231, 964 A.2d 649 (2009). 
Certiorari dismissed as improvidently granted.

Grady v. Brown, 408 Md. 182, 968 A.2d 1084 (2009). 
Applying the Boulevard Rule where the unfavored driver’s view of oncoming traffic is blocked by parked cars.  (John B. Bratt)

Green v. N.B.S., Inc., 409 Md. 528, 976 A.2d 279 (2009). 
Applying the statutory cap on non-economic damages to lead-paint claims brought under the Maryland Consumer Protection Act.  (James K. MacAlister)

McQuitty v. Spangler, 410 Md. 1, 976 A.2d 1020 (2009). 
Holding that an “affirmative violation of the patient’s physical integrity” is not a required element of an informed consent claim in Maryland.  (Denis C. Mitchell)

UMMSC v. Waldt, 411 Md. 207, 983 A.2d 112 (2009). 
Defining “professional activities” for the purposes of applying the “20% rule” in medical negligence actions.  (David M. Kopstein)

 

2008

Gourdine v. Crews, 405 Md. 722, 955 A.2d 769 (2008). 
Manufacturer of prescription medicines did not owe duty under common law to motorist who was killed by driver who suffered a debilitating episode brought about by those medicines.  (James K. MacAlister, Michael Wein, Denis C. Mitchell)

Marcantonio v. Moen, 406 Md. 395, 959 A.2d 764 (2008). 
Reversing entry of summary judgment where improperly-stricken affidavits of expert witnesses did not materially contradict their deposition testimony and generated a genuine issue of material fact.  (George S. Tolley, III)

 

2007

Del Marr v. Montgomery County, 397 Md. 308; 916 A.2d 1002, (2007).
Holding that when a Workers’ Compensation award is reopened and the benefits increased from a tier one to a tier two injury, the employer is entitled to a credit based on weeks rather than dollars for previous payment of benefits. (Michael J. Schreyer, Esq.)

Mundey v. Erie Ins. Group, 396 Md. 656; 914 A.2d 1167, (2007).
In a declaratory judgment case seeking coverage for a MVA, the court affirmed the denial of coverage based on the definition of the term “resident” in the policy, finding that a policy of motor vehicle insurance could exclude those not “physically living with [the] named insured.” (John B. Bratt, Esq.)

Montgomery Mut. Ins. Co. v. Chesson, 399 Md. 314, 923 A.2d 939 (2997).  Holding that a Frye-Reed hearing is necessary for the trial court to determine the admissibility of physician’s opinion with regard to “sick building syndrome” and its effect on patient in a workers compensation action.  (Timonthy J. Hogan, James A. Lanier, Bruce M. Bender, James K. MacAlister).

Carroll v. Konits, 400 Md. 167, 929 A.2d 19 (2007).  Holding that the failure to file a certificate of qualified expert in a medical negligence action warrants dismissal of the action.  (George S. Tolley III).

Barbre v. Pope, 402 Md. 157, 935 A.2d 699 (2007).  Where notice of claim did not comply with requirements of Maryland Tort Claims Act, the allegations of gross negligence and malice were sufficient to avoid summary judgment.  (James K. MacAlister)

 

2006

Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. Benjamin, 394 Md. 59; 904 A.2d 511 (2006).
Genuine issues of material fact existed as to when decedent's beneficiaries discovered the connection between his asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, precluding summary judgment based on limitations period, and evidence established inquiry notice of cause of injury, as element of discovery rule for commencing limitations period for survival action. (Edward Lilly, Esq. & Denis C. Mitchell, Esq.)

Laboratory Corp. of America v. Hood, 395 Md. 608, 911 A.2d 841 (2006).
Maryland law applied to Wrongful Birth suit against North Carolina laboratory. (George S. Tolley III, Esq.)

Mayor & City Council of Baltimore v. Whalen, 396 Md. 154, 909 A.2d 683 (2006).
City enjoys governmental immunity for its actions in maintaining public park. (James K. MacAlister, Esq.)

Philip Morris USA, Inc. v. Christensen, 394 Md. 227; 905 A.2d 340 (2006).
Holding that the pendency of a class action tolled the statute of limitations on the causes of action asserted in the class action complaint for the putative class members. (Denis C. Mitchell, Esq.)

United Services Auto. Ass'n v. Riley, 393 Md. 55; 899 A.2d 819 (2006).
Holding, in a lead paint case, that the limit in an insurance policy applied cumulatively across policy periods instead of a single limit across all periods. (Bruce M. Bender, Esq.)

Walzer v. Osborne, 395 Md. 563; 911 A.2d 427 (2006).
Holding that a separate expert report distinct from the certificate of merit must be filed as a condition precedent to the maintenance of a medical malpractice case. (David M. Kopstein, Esq. & George S. Tolley III, Esq.)

Wilson v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 395 Md. 524; 910 A.2d 1122 (2006).
Holding that the “fellow employee exclusion” in an automobile insurance policy was valid. (James K. MacAlister, Esq.)

 

2005

Debbas v. Nelson, 389 Md. 364, 885 A.2d 802; (2005).
A facially valid Certificate of Merit is not subject to collateral attack based on events occurring after it is filed. (George S. Tolley III, Esq.)

Landon v. Zorn, 389 Md. 206; 884 A.2d 142 (2005).
Holding that the Circuit Court did not err in failing to voir dire the prospective jurors on tort reform. (Michael Wein, Esq. & David M. Kopstein, Esq.)

Rios v. Montgomery County, 386 Md. 104, 872 A.2d 1 (2005).
Notice requirement of LGTCA as applied to minors does not violate equal protection clause. (David M. Kopstein, Esq. & Bruce M. Bender, Esq.)

 

2004

Yox v. Tru-Rol Co., Inc., 380 Md. 326; 844 A.2d 1151 (2004).
Holding that the claim for occupational deafness accrued when claimant suffered compensable loss he knew was a result of employment and, thus, the claim in this case was barred by the statute of limitations. (Robert J. Zarbin, Esq. & James K. MacAlister, Esq.)

Haischer v. CSX Transp., Inc., 381 Md. 119; 848 A.2d 620 (2004).
Holding that a air pressure monitoring device was not in proper condition and safe to operate under the Boiler Inspection Act and that the engineer’s receipt of railroad retirement benefits was inadmissible under the collateral source rule. (Dennis F. O'Brien, Esq., P. Matthew Darby, Esq. & Theresa A. Rosendale, Esq.)

 

2003

Harris v. Board of Educ. of Howard County, 375 Md. 21; 825 A.2d 365 (2003).
Holding that an injury is not required to have resulted from an “unusual activity” to be covered as an “accidental injury” under the Workers’ Compensation Act. (Matthew M. Paavola, Esq. & M. Crawford Keenan, Esq.)

James v. Butler, 378 Md. 683, 838 A.2d 1180 (2003).
Plaintiff’s recovery is limited to jurisdictional limit of the District Court if Plaintiff uses C&JP 10-104, even after case is removed to Circuit Court. (Bruce M. Bender, Esq.)

 

2002

John Crane, Inc. v. Scribner, 369 Md. 369; 800 A.2d 727 (2002).
Holding, in an asbestos case, that the statute imposing caps on non-economic damages awarded in personal injury cases did not apply in asbestos cases if the exposure predated the effective date of the statute. (George S. Tolley III, Esq.)

Moore v. Norouzi, 371 Md. 154; 807 A.2d 632 (2002).
The Court of Appeals stated that, "[w]e agree with the Amicus Maryland Trial Lawyers Association," and adopted the test suggested by the association for determining whether proper notice of a tort claim was given under the Local Government Tort Claims Act. (Walter E. Laake Jr., Esq. & Cary J. Hansel, Esq.)

Witte v. Azarian, 369 Md. 518; 801 A.2d 160 (2002).
Holding, in a medical malpractice claim, that for purposes of determining an expert witness’ eligibility, time traveling to or from court, testifying, waiting to testify, assisting attorneys, working on discovery, reviewing documents, preparing reports, and any similar activities are considered in calculating whether an expert devotes more than 20% of his or her time annually to activities that directly involve testimony. (David M. Kopstein, Esq.)

 

2001

Green v. North Arundel Hosp. Ass'n, Inc., 366 Md. 597; 785 A.2d 361, (2001).
The Court of Appeals found no error in trial court’s precluding plaintiff who was in a motionless, vegetative state, unable to either communicate or understand the proceedings, from being brought into the courtroom for less than an hour to demonstrate to the jury his current condition. (George S. Tolley III, Esq.)

Richardson v. McGriff, 361 Md. 437, 762 A.2d 48 (2001).
reasonableness of force used by officer was to be judged from perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene facing circumstances presented at time force was used. (H. Jeffrey Tabb, Esq.)

Wells v. Chevy Chase Bank, F.S.B., 363 Md. 232; 768 A.2d 620 (2001).
The Court of Appeals reversed the lower court’s decision compelling arbitration in a credit card agreement (by adhesion) when the demand for arbitration was not made by the “claiming party”, i.e., the plaintiffs, as was required in the arbitration. (Walter E. Laake Jr., Esq. & Cary J. Hansel, Esq.)

 

2000

Benick v. Hatcher, 358 Md. 507; 750 A.2d 10 (2000).
Holding that the trial court gave an erroneous instruction related to the standard of proof for violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, the court held that liability may be imposed upon lessors for injuries resulting from hazardous conditions without proof of prior notice. (Kenneth W. Strong, Esq.)

Dingle v. State, 361 Md. 1; 759 A.2d 819 (2000).
In this criminal case, the method utilized by the trial judge in conducting voir dire was found to be prejudicial and the decision below was reversed. The trial court over objection utilized two-part questions and only required prospective jurors to identify themselves if the answer to both questions was yes. For example: Have you ever been the victim of a crime, and if yes, would that fact interfere with your ability to be fair and impartial? (Harry B. Siegel, Esq.)

James v. Butler, 378 Md. 683, 838 A.2d 1180 (2000).
Holding, in an MVA case, that the ad damnum clause could not be amended to reflect a higher verdict than demanded when medical records were admitted without testimonial predicate. (Bruce M. Bender, Esq.)

Richardson v. McGriff, 361 Md. 437; 762 A.2d 48 (2000).
Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling a Baltimore City police officer who shot and injured an individual hiding in a kitchen closet when upon opening the closet door the officer observed what he thought was a individual holding a large weapon, which turned out to be a vacuum cleaner pipe. No error found in excluding police guidelines and regulations for using deadly force. (H. Jeffrey Tabb, Esq.)

 

1999

Blevins v. Baltimore County, 352 Md. 260; 724 A.2d 22 (1999).
The Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling but the set-off provisions in workers’ compensation benefits available to governmental unit employers who were paying benefits to injured/disabled employees was not applicable to pension benefits paid following an employee’s retirement from service. (P. Matthew Darby, Esq.)

Coates, et al. v. Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Inc., 354 Md. 499; 731 A.2d 931 (1999).
Holding that a utility company owed no duty to a passenger in an automobile when the company places a hazardous utility pole alongside of a roadway, if the driver of the vehicle was negligent. (Paul D. Bekman, Esq. & Michael P. Smith, Esq.)

DiPino v. Davis, 354 Md. 18; 729 A.2d 354 (1999).
The court established the contours of local government tort liability in a number of key respects. (C. Chris Brown, Esq.)

Nissan Motor Co. v. Nave, 129 Md. App. 90; 740 A.2d 102 (1999).
The Court of Special Appeals reversed a damage award of $4,034,000 to the family of a deceased who was fatally injured in this Nissan motor vehicle accident due to blunt force trauma to the chest upon contact with the rigidly-designed steering wheel. The court ruled that plaintiffs did not produce sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case of design defect. (Harry B. Siegel, Esq.)

 

1997

Rivera v. Edmonds, 347 Md. 208; 699 A.2d 1194 (1997).
Genuine issue of fact as to when patient suffered injury for alleged misdiagnosis precluded summary judgment on grounds of statute of repose, Court of Special Appeals reversed and case remanded. (Daniel M. Clements, Esq.)

 

1996

Pepper v. Johns Hopkins Hospital, 111 Md. App. 49; 680 A.2d 532 (1996).
Trial court erred in granting Johns Hopkins Motion in Limine as to the introduction of any evidence of medical expenses in claim of minor. (Howard A. Janet, Esq.)

 

1994

Anne Arundel Medical Center v. Condon, 102 Md. App. 408; 649 A.2d 1189 (1994).
Joint tortfeasor release also releases defendants who may have been held vicariously liable. Trial court reversed in allowing case to proceed against agent's principal, i.e., the hospital. (John J. Selinger, Esq.)

Connors v. Oaks, 100 Md. App. 525; 642 A.2d 245 (1994).
The Maryland cap was held to apply separately to the plaintiff's individual claims, as well as the plaintiff and spouse's loss of consortium claim. (Paul D. Bekman, Esq. & Daniel M. Clements, Esq.)

Van Horn v. Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, 334 Md. 669; 641 A.2d 195 (1994).
Maryland Court of Appeals held that insurers common law right to void ab-initio, an auto insurance policy, when applicant made material misrepresentations in application, has been statutorily obligated, case reversed and remanded. (Martin H. Freeman, Esq.)

 

1993

Figgie International v. Tognocchi, 96 Md. App.228; 624 A.2d 1285 (1993).
Case remanded for a reinstatement of award for non-economic damages as rendered by the jury. The cap on damages does not apply to wrongful death actions. (William T. Wood, Esq.)

Komornik v. Sparks, 331 Md. 720; 629 A.2d 721 (1993).
Evidence of malice insufficient to support a finding of "actual malice" for an intoxicated driver to be liable for punitive damages. (Paul D. Bekman, Esq.)

United States of America v. Glen D. Streidel, 329 Md. 533; 620 A.2d 905 (1993).
Court of Appeals held that the non-economic damage cap applicable to actions for bodily injury did not apply to wrongful death cases. (Paul D. Bekman, Esq. & Daniel M. Clements, Esq.)

 

1992

Griffith v. Southland Corporation, 94 Md. App. 242; 617 A.2d 598 (1992).
Summary judgment not applicable to plaintiff's claim against defendant's convenience store owner for failing to summons police upon plaintiff's request, reversed and remanded. (Gary I. Strausburg, Esq.)

Owens-Illinois, Inc., et al. v. William Zenobia, Sr., 325 Md. 420; 601 A.2d 633 (1992).
Court of Appeals restated the test for the allowance of punitive damages in tort cases. (Gary I. Strausberg, Esq. & Paul D. Bekman, Esq.)

 

1991

United States v. Searle, 322 Md. 1; 584 A.2d 1263 (1991).
On question of law certified to the Maryland Court of Appeals, it was determined that 1) the Maryland cap statute of $350,000 in non-pecuniary damages would not be given weight in judging a claim for alleged excess damages in a pre-capped case and 2) “household services” are not encompassed within the term solatium. (Paul D. Bekman, Esq. & Scott R. Scherr, Esq.)

 

1990

Edmonds v. Murphy, 83 Md. App. 133, 146; 573 A.2d 853 (1990).
The cap on damages and personal injury cases is again ruled constitutional. (Paul D.  Bekman, Esq., John J. Selinger, Esq. & Russ Herman/ATLA)

Fennell v. Southern Maryland Hosp. Center, Inc., 320 Md. 776; 580 A.2d 206 (1990).
Summary judgment denying a claim for “loss of chance” in a survival action is affirmed on appeal as the Court of Appeals declared it would not create a new tort allowing full recovery for causing death in a case where there is less 50% of survival. (Paul D. Bekman, Esq. & Scott R. Scherr, Esq.)

Van Horn v. Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company (Ct. App.), 334 Md. 669; 641 A.2d 195 (1990).
Maryland Court of Appeals held that insurers common-law right to void ab-initio, an auto insurance policy, when applicant made material misrepresentations in application, has been statutorily obligated, case reversed and remanded. (Martin H. Freeman, Esq.)

 

1989

Potomac Electric Power Company v. Smith, 79 Md. App. 591; 558 A.2d 768 (1989).
The cap on damages found not to be unconstitutional. (Paul D. Bekman, Esq., John J. Selinger, Esq. & Bill Wagner/ATLA)


1988

Pennwalt Corporation v. Nasios, 314 Md. 433; 550 A.2d 1155 (1988).
Plaintiff's knowledge of a claim for defective medical product begins to run when plaintiff expressly or by implication knows of an injury, its probably cause, and of a probable product defect, case remanded. (Michael A. Pretl, Esq.)

 

1982

Blanchfield v. Dennis, 292 Md. 319; 438 A.2d 1330 (1982).
Upon request, jurors in a personal injury case must be instructed that any damages they may award are not subject to state or federal income taxes. (Robert R. Michael, Esq.)

 

1984

Chilcote v. von der Ahe Van Lines, 300 Md. 106; 476 A.2d 204 (1984).
The court again referred MTLA to the legislature and in this case, allowed a full credit for consideration paid by the joint tortfeasor, if greater than his pro rata share. (Henry E. Dugan Jr., Esq.)

Martinez v. Lopez, 300 Md. 91; 476 A.2d 197 (1984).
The Court of Appeals refused to apply the joint tortfeasor statute differently. Referred the litigants to the legislature. Joint tortfeasor paid $725,000, jury verdict was $600,000, no additional compensation to plaintiffs. (Robert R. Michael, Esq.)

1983

Harrison v. Montgomery County Board of Education, 295 Md. 442; 456 A.2d 894 (1983).
The court refused to abrogate contributory negligence and install comparative negligence. Referred the litigants to the legislature. (Leo A. Hughes Jr., Esq.)

 

1979

Austin v. Mayor of Baltimore, 286 Md. 51; 405 A.2d 255 (1979).
The Court of Appeals refuses to judicially abrogate the doctrine of municipal (governmental) immunity from tort liability. (Leo A. Hughes Jr., Esq.)

 

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