Spring 2012 Newsletter

By John W. Leonard

As temperatures grew colder and winter began becoming a reality, Maryland’s highest court chose an appropriate time to issue its decision in Poole v. Coakley & Williams Construction, Inc. (No. 130, September Term, 2010).  In retrospect, this past winter may not be one that is remembered for record breaking snowfall or extreme weather.  But, with the Court of Appeals’ decision in Poole, this past winter may instead be remembered for something different: the way Maryland courts decide cases concerning black ice.

Recent Developments - Maryland
In Univ. of Md. Med. Sys. Corp. v. Muti, 2012 Md. LEXIS 74 (Feb. 21, 2012) the Court of Appeals held that the failure to name a beneficiary as a use plaintiff in a wrongful death action did not require dismissal under Maryland law.
Maryland has recently seen a drastic overhaul of its premises liability law involving injuries on snow and ice.  One Court of Appeals decision responsible for this new direction of case law is Thomas v. Panco Management.
The Court of Appeals recently decided a procedural quagmire involving a the death of a plaintiff after judgment in his favor but prior to the resolution of post-trial motions to reduce the amount of the verdict.
Recent Developments - Virginia
In revisiting the purpose of closing arguments, the Virginia Supreme Court recently held that a plaintiff can place numerical values on noneconomic damages.
A medical malpractice plaintiff who does not attempt to serve a defendant in order to comply with statutory expert certification requirements does not have good cause to delay service beyond a year.
Recent Developments - District of Columbia
Over the last five years, the legal landscape for claims of psychological injury has changed dramatically.
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals considered the jury instruction that a violation of an applicable traffic regulation would constitute negligence per se in the recent opinion of Sibert-Dean v. WMATA.
In what was an otherwise unremarkable Title VII case, alleging a hostile work environment, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia made some interesting observations about the nature and purpose of a motion in limine and implemented an effective method for developing the record so that a clearer ruling could be made thereupon.
About the Firm
Chris Dunn has been appointed by the Maryland Court of Appeals to the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedure, which is a prominent position in the state of Maryland court system.

DeCaro, Doran is also pleased to announce that Mark A. Kohl has joined the firm as an associate attorney.

Emily F. Belanger and David J. Baines will join DeCaro, Doran as summer associates in June 2012.


DeCaro, Doran, Siciliano, Gallagher and DeBlasis LLP
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Bowie, MD 20715
Virginia Office
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