F&P Principal Obtains Favorable Verdict in Recent PG County Jury Trial

Last Tuesday, May 23, F&P principal Heather Rice secured a strong verdict after a two-day jury trial in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County. The case arose from an August 2017 motor vehicle accident which resulted in serious property damage to the two vehicles involved.  Defendant accepted responsibility for the accident and the jury was tasked with determining whether Plaintiff was injured and if so, the extent of Plaintiff’s injuries. The Plaintiff’s claimed medical specials of approximately $16,000.00 were not contested.

In his closing argument, Plaintiff’s counsel argued that his client had suffered from a permanent injury and asked the jury to award Plaintiff $416,000.00 in damages. Ms. Rice utilized surveillance and the testimony of Plaintiff’s own treating provider to convince the jury that Plaintiff’s soft tissue injuries were resolved after two months of conservative treatment. After an hour of deliberation, the jury rejected Plaintiff’s $416,000.00 suggestion and instead returned a verdict awarding the Plaintiff $61,000.00.

F&P Assists with Workers’ Compensation Garnishment Legislation

F&P Principals John Handscomb and Bert Randall played integral roles in the development and passage of Maryland Senate Bill 71 and House Bill 800, sponsored by Senator Benjamin Brooks and Delegate Scott Phillips, respectively, regarding garnishment of child support arrearages in workers’ compensation cases.  Given statutory ambiguity, there has been a longstanding debate regarding the proper amount that should be withheld from indemnity payments for workers’ compensation claimants that owe child support.  These bills, signed into law by Governor Wes Moore on May 3, 2023, will go into effect on October 1, 2023, and will resolve this issue once and for all by permitting withholding amounts of up to 25% of the indemnity benefits due.  Major thanks go to Kimberly Shiloh, Chief of Staff for Senator Brooks, who was instrumental in having these bills introduced and passing unanimously in both chambers.