Summer 2014 Newsletter

By Anne Marie McGinley

The Court of Appeals of Maryland recently held in Brethren Mutual Ins. Co. v. Buckley that pursuant to Section 19-511(e) of the Insurance Article, a tort victim may execute a boilerplate, general release with the tortfeasor’s liability insurer without prejudicing the tort victim’s claim under her uninsured motorist policy.  In the underlying action, Plaintiff Buckley was involved in a single vehicle accident as the front seat passenger in a vehicle driven by her boyfriend, Harvey Betts.  Betts was covered by a liability insurance policy issued by GEICO with limits of $100,000.  GEICO offered to settle Plaintiff’s claim against Betts for the full policy limits.  The Plaintiff’s medical bills, related to the accident, were in excess of $200,000.  As the settlement with GEICO did not cover the full extent of her injuries, the Plaintiff also sought coverage under her uninsured/underinsured motorist (“UM”) policy with Brethren.

Recent Developments - Maryland
Statutory duty, rather than common law duty, held applicable to property owners despite fact that injured boy was a trespasser at time of injury.
Traveling employee’s injury held to be compensable despite the fact that injury occurred while employee was dancing in a hotel nightclub.  
Top Court excludes expert because testimony of expert failed to address the material risks of radiation therapy and a treatment drug.
Recent Developments - Virginia
A construction worker's estate failed to prove that the decedent was "using" his vehicle as comprehended by the available UIM policies.
A nonprofit organization's charitable immunity argument was rejected with respect to a volunteer's personal injury claim.
A court finds that the claims of a plaintiff for injuries suffered while still in utero fall within the confines of the Virginia Medical Malpractice Act.
Recent Developments - District of Columbia
The D.C. Superior Court recently released its statistics for jury verdicts in cases that dealt with slip and falls, auto accidents, and medical malpractice.  
D.C. Court of Appeals permits insurer to seek subrogation against an insured.

D.C. Superior Court holds that plaintiff can recover for total amount of medical expenses despite Medicare write off. 
About the Firm
DeCaro Doran is very pleased to announce that Cynthia M. Wiesz and Jennifer Simpson Lancaster have joined the firm as Associate Attorneys. 

Cynthia Weisz was born on Long Island, New York, and raised in North Miami Beach, Florida.  She graduated from University of South Florida in 1992 with a B.A. in Mass Communications, and subsequently, attended Nova Southeastern Shepard Broad Law Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where she obtained her Juris Doctorate in May 1997. 

Jennifer Lancaster attended the University of Delaware, where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science and History in 2000. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore in 2003.


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