Spring 2018

Recent Successes in Maryland

Principal, Tamara B. Goorevitz and Associate, Carrie V. O’Brien, recently received a defense verdict for their client after a five day jury trial in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. The plaintiff allegedly sustained a third degree chemical burn which required multiple surgeries. It was the plaintiff ’s theory, that an application of hair color by F&P’s hair salon client, had caused the plaintiff ’s injuries. The jury found that their client was not the cause of the plaintiff ’s injuries and, therefore, a verdict in favor of the defendants was entered.

Recently in a damages only trial in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Principal Andrew T. Stephenson and Associate, Renee L. Bowen, secured a favorable judgment for their client. The plaintiff sought economic damages in the amount of $1,421,443.72 (consisting of $1,134,076.00 in lost pension benefits, $271,000.00 in lost household services, and $16,317.72 in past medical expenses). The plaintiff claimed that soft tissue injuries he sustained in a rear-end motor vehicle collision cost him numerous promotions and, as a result, he was forced into early retirement which caused the pension he actually received to be significantly lower than had he retired after being promoted. Andrew and Renee were successful in showing that the plaintiff ’s ongoing complaints of pain to the alleged injured areas were not causally related to the motor vehicle accident and that the plaintiff ’s failure to be promoted was due to circumstances other than the soft tissue injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident. As a result, the judge found that only a portion of the medical expenses claimed by the plaintiff were causally related to the accident and entered a judgment in his favor in the amount of $38,622.50 ($8,622.50 in economic damage and $30,000 pain and suffering).

The Circuit Court for Baltimore County is typically where summary judgment motions face an uphill battle. Breaking the trend, Principal, Stephen J. Marshall, was successful in obtaining summary judgment in a products liability action for a manufacturer of vertical reciprocating conveyors where the plaintiff had sustained a traumatic brain injury. Steve drafted and successfully argued a motion for summary judgment seeking to exclude the plaintiff ’s expert. After a hearing, the court adopted Steve’s arguments on the record as the basis for holding that the plaintiff ’s expert was not qualified to testify as an expert, and lacked a sufficient factual basis to offer his opinions. Summary judgment was entered in favor of F&P’s product manufacturer client.

Two of F&P’s associates were recently successful at trial in District Court (maximum exposure $30,000, bench trials only) where liability was considerably unfavorable to their clients.  Jessica J. Ayd, received a verdict of $1.00 in the District Court for Baltimore City. The lawsuit stemmed from a motor vehicle accident in which liability was unfavorable to the transportation client and its driver. Jessica located a public Instagram account for the plaintiff and showed the judge three videos of the plaintiff dancing which posted in the days and weeks after the accident. While the plaintiff claimed that the videos, which were posted after the accident, were taken before the accident. The judge simply did not believe her (and even referenced the lack of #tbt “Throw Back Thursday” or #latergram hashtag in the posting). The trial judge awarded damages in the amount of $1.00 to the plaintiff.

In an exceedingly plaintiff-friendly venue, Ryan M. Walburn, recently tried a case involving claims by two plaintiffs, stemming from a motor vehicle collision in which the plaintiffs’ vehicle was struck in the rear.  The plaintiff-passenger claimed that she sought emergency treatment shortly after the accident due to blurry vision and other concussion-like symptoms.  Ryan was able to establish that, despite these serious “symptoms,” the plaintiff did not seek treatment until the following day.  Ryan also introduced  into evidence the plaintiff-driver’s long history of similar rear-end collisions.  Even though liability was unfavorable to the client, as the collision was rear-end in nature, Ryan was able to impeach the plaintffs which resulted in the court finding the plaintiffs’ claimed injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering were not causally related to the collision. Therefore, a verdict for the defense was entered.