Fall 2017

By Erin H. Cancienne
Recently, the Court of Special Appeals in White Pine Insurance Company v. Howard R. Taylor detailed who has the burden to prove coverage existed and whether the settlement agreement was reasonable.   Plaintiff, Taylor, was shot by an unknown shooter as he left the West End Pub in Hagerstown.  The triggerman was never apprehended or identified. There was no indication as to why Mr. Taylor was shot, or why the gun discharged in general.
Recent Developments - Maryland
The new coverage offering stems from House Bill 5/Senate Bill 403, which was passed this 437th legislative session. This legislation creates an “enhanced” underinsured motorist coverage under which UIM coverage for an injured party would be added together or “stacked” with the available bodily injury insurance of the at-fault driver, instead of offset against it as is current law in Maryland.
In the case of Ceccone v. Carroll Home Services LLC, Plaintiffs Richard and Daphne Ceccone (“Plaintiffs”) filed a tort and contract claim against Defendant Carroll Home Services, LLC (“CHS”). CHS provided oil and maintenance services to the Plaintiffs’ furnace. An incident arose with the furnace which caused damage to the Plaintiffs’ home.
Deborah Sigethy (“Plaintiff”) brought a medical malpractice suit against Defendant doctor alleging negligence and failure to obtain informed consent after Defendant performed a hip-replacement surgery on Plaintiff in 2010. The Plaintiff complained of worsening pain after the procedure and on December 6, 2010, sought a second opinion, which recommended revision surgery.
Recent Developments - Virginia
In Erie v. McKinley, a chiropractor rendered treatment to a patient who had been injured in a motor vehicle accident.  To pay for the services provided, the patient assigned to the chiropractor her rights to insurance and/or litigation proceeds she might be entitled to receive as a result of the accident.
The question before the court was when an insured can maintain a bad faith claim against a motor vehicle insurance carrier for refusing to settle an uninsured motorist (UM) claim. The Virginia Supreme Court recently held that the injured insured must first obtain a judgment against the negligent uninsured driver before a UM carrier can be liable for bad faith.
Since 2009, Dora Adkins, acting pro se, has filed at least 41 lawsuits in Virginia trial courts, 27 petitions for appeal with the Virginia Supreme Court, and 21 petitions for rehearing.  All were frivolous.
Recent Developments - District of Columbia
Plaintiff, Bonfire, LLC, brought a breach of contract action against defendants, Michael R. Zacharia and 1132 19th Street NW, LLC, arising out of a 2014 lease agreement in which Bonfire agreed to rent property located in the District of Columbia in order to operate a restaurant.
Plaintiffs, an elderly couple, brought suit alleging intentional and unintentional tort claims against nurses and their corporate employer, arising out of allegations of theft of certain personal property belonging to the plaintiffs.

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