Fall 2018

By Jennifer L. Rowlett
On September 18, 2018, Fitbit, one of the leading manufacturers of wearable fitness trackers, issued a press release launching its Fitbit Care initiative.  The initiative boasts a “connected health platform for health plans, employers, and health systems that combines health coaching and virtual care.”
Recent Developments - Maryland
In WSC/2005 LLC v. Trio Ventures Associates, Maryland’s highest court ruled that a court can vacate an arbitrator’s award if that award manifestly disregards applicable law.
Maryland’s second highest court recently held that a trial court did not commit reversible error by failing to hold a pre-trial hearing to determine the admissibility of the plaintiff’s expert testimony.  In Burks v. Allen, a patient developed necrosis of the colon after being administered a medication.  In a subsequent medical malpractice action, it was alleged that the treating physician was negligent in administering the medication.
Pursuant to Maryland’s doctrine of imputed negligence, an automobile passenger who is the sole owner of the vehicle has been held vicariously liable for the negligence of the driver of their vehicle.
Recent Developments - Virginia

Primov v. Servco, Inc.

This case arose from an employment dispute involving a U.S. military contractor (“Serco”) and one of its employees (“Primov”). Primov claimed that Serco had not compensated Primov in accordance with the controlling employment contract. Due to Primov’s belief that he was not receiving proper compensation, he filed a lawsuit against Serco in circuit court for the difference between what he had earned and what he thought he should have earned. This claim was fully litigated, motions were filed, and depositions were taken. At the trial date for his initial claim, Primov nonsuited his action. Months later, he then brought the claim a second time.

Canody v. Hamblin

This case arose from a challenge to a trial court order to admit an electronically created will to probate. The validity of the challenged document was questioned multiple times prior to the initiation of this claim. At the outset, the clerk of court refused to probate the document offered by Cheryl Hamblin (“Hamblin”) as the last will and testament of her late father, Robert Canody, Senior (“decedent”). Due to this refusal, Hamblin was forced to petition the circuit court to have the document probated. After reviewing the document and listening to testimony from multiple witnesses, the circuit court concluded that the will offered for probate met the statutory requirements for a valid will. Canody v. Hamblin, 816 S.E.2d 286, 288 (2018).

McCulley v. Brooks & Co. Gen. Contrs., Inc.
 
This controversy came to fruition because of a dispute regarding whether a judgment, which was void for lack of personal jurisdiction can be made valid by a subsequent appearance by the judgment debtor after the entry of judgment.  McCulley v. Brooks & Co. Gen. Contrs., Inc., 816 S.E.2d 270 (2018). After the tenant (“McCulley”) failed to make payments owed to the landlord (Brooks & Co., referred to hereinafter as “Brooks”), Brooks filed a lawsuit against McCulley for the money McCulley owed Brooks.
Recent Developments - District of Columbia
The District of Columbia Superior Court has started, effective October 14, mandatory electronic filing for Landlord Tenant and Small Claims cases.  Paper filings, as of October 14, will no longer be accepted.
In the case of Bold Alliance v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, more than 50 landowners with property in the path of two major gas projects joined with various non-profits targeting the way eminent domain use has evolved in the gas market to take private property for pipeline development.  The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
In the case of Campbell v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., 311 F. Supp. 3d 281 (D.D.C. 2018), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied class certification in an employment discrimination class action case against Amtrak. 

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