DeCaro, Doran Litigation In Brief - Summer 2017

By Steven R. Migdal
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “disparage” as “to lower in esteem; discredit; to show disrespect for; to belittle”. In a commercial setting, to disparage is to say or post unkind or unpleasant comments about a person, company, or product.
Recent Developments - Maryland
The Court of Special Appeals upheld a jury’s finding that the Plaintiff assumed the risk of her injuries after she rode as a passenger in a car with the Defendant, whom she admitted appeared to be intoxicated.
The Court of Appeals addressed the potential liability of adults who allow minors to drink on their property in Maryland. There is a common-law principle in Maryland wherein adults can be found liable under the “Statute Rule”, where common law social host liability and breach of duties arise out of a violation of a Maryland criminal law statute.
This appeal arose out of a settlement agreement reached between the parties in an automobile accident. As trial approached, the parties discussed settlement, and counsel for plaintiff sent an e-mail to defense counsel confirming his client would accept $7,000.00 if it were affirmed, and would not counter.
Recent Developments - Virginia
The Virginia Supreme Court recently affirmed a jury award of $0.  In the case of Gilliam v. Immel, the defendant rear-ended the plaintiff and liability was conceded; thus the only issue at trial was damages.  At trial the evidence revealed that there was little, if any, property damage to the vehicles, and no part of the plaintiff’s body came into contact with the inside of her car.
This bill allows an injured person, the personal representative of a decedent, or an attorney that represents either to request the disclosure of the liability limits of a personal injury liability insurance policy or a homeowners insurance policy prior to filing a civil action for personal injuries or wrongful death from injuries sustained at another’s residence.
This bill requires that an amended pleading filed after a demurrer to an earlier pleading has been sustained incorporate or refer to the earlier pleading being amended in order to preserve the right to stand on the earlier pleading.
Recent Developments - District of Columbia
On November 26, 2016 common-law contributory negligence was, by statute, eliminated as a defense to personal injury actions brought by bicyclists and other non-motorized vehicle users (skateboards, Segways, tricycles, etc.). 
In an unpublished opinion the Superior Court for the District of Columbia refused to compel a Plaintiff in a medical malpractice action to travel from the District of Columbia to Philadelphia for an independent medical examination.
About the Firm
DeCaro, Doran is pleased to announce that James S. Liskow has become a Principal Partner, and Matthew A. Ranck, Erin H. Cancienne, and Jennifer L. Rowlett have become Partners at the firm.


DeCaro, Doran, Siciliano, Gallagher and DeBlasis LLP
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