Joseph Greenwald & Laake Blog
The damages sustained by a seriously injured child do not just relate to the child himself. They also affect the altered lifestyles of siblings and parents and encompass a whole host of experts who are necessary to explain, prognosticate, and portray what the child and the family’s life will become. This paper will concentrate on the psychological and emotional damages and not on the economic loss. Obviously in fully presenting damages a life care plan and economist are essential.
In 2016, the appellate courts addressed a variety of issues in the field of estates and trusts including will construction, the statute of limitations for a petition to caveat, the ability to change the beneficial interest of a trust beneficiary and the effect of a “savings clause” on the burden of estate taxation.
Whistleblowers and those who support and represent them will be pleased and energized by a December 28, 2016, ruling by U.S. District Judge George H. King of the Central District of California in a case involving the unapproved, or off-label, marketing of prescription drugs.
Doctors are generally allowed to prescribe prescription drugs for uses that haven’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but pharma companies are barred under federal law from marketing drugs to doctors for these unapproved uses.
I often represent whistleblowers – employees in either the private or public sector who become aware of wrongdoing by their employers and come forward to report the wrongdoing in the interest of pressing for change and reform.
Over the years, we have won hundreds of millions of dollars in cases that were originally spurred by whistleblowers’ activities, and we have achieved courtroom victories for whistleblowers who suffered illegal retaliation precisely because they chose to blow the whistle on improper corporate actions.
On its web site, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) provides a very brief summary of what to do if you, as a driver, are involved in an automobile accident. While the three tips given on the MVA website have some merit, there is much more that can and should be done after an automobile accident involving physical injury. Previously, we have discussed on the JGL Blog whether you should move your vehicle from the scene of an accident and whether you should talk with the other driver’s insurance company after an accident. Here are some additional tips that will help you present the strongest possible auto accident injury claim:
David Bulitt, a principal in Joseph Greenwald & Laake’s family law practice and our Assistant Managing Director, has just written his second novel that will be published on January 27, 2017. The novel draws extensively both from David’s experience as a father of an adopted child with mental health and addiction issues as well as on David’s 30 years’ experience representing clients in family law.
On September 22, 2016, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued a decision in favor of our clients in their battle over membership and control of Jericho Baptist Church Ministries, Inc., a large, nationally-known church located in Landover, Maryland. The court affirmed a lower court decision that a purported board of trustees that seized control of Jericho in 2010 and terminated our clients’ membership rights was not the valid board of Jericho. The effect of the court’s decision affirmed the return of control over Jericho to the original Board of Trustees, which includes Rev. Joel Peebles, the senior pastor whose parents founded the church more than 50 years ago. This decision marks a key victory for Rev. Peebles and is also a significant ruling in First Amendment law concerning the establishment of religion.
Maryland and the District of Columbia, along with Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama, continue to adhere to the minority rule of tort causation known as “contributory negligence.” “Contributory negligence, if proved, is a complete defense that bars a plaintiff’s recovery in a negligence action.” Warsham v. Muscatello, Inc., 985 A.2d 156, 167 n. 10 (Md. App. 2009). Contributory negligence has been defined traditionally as the failure on the part of the plaintiff to observe ordinary care for [his or her] own safety. Kasten Construction Co. v. Evans, 273 A.2d 90, 92 (Md. 1971); Menish v. Polinger Co., 356 A.2d 233, 236 (Md. 1976). At its heart, contributory negligence is “the doing of something that a person of ordinary prudence would not do, or the failure to do something that a person of ordinary prudence would do under the circumstances.” Potts v. Armour & Co., 39 A.2d 552, 556 (Md. 1944). “Contributory negligence, if present, defeats recovery because it is a proximate cause of the accident; otherwise, the negligence is not contributory.” Batten v. Michel, 292 A.2d 707, 711-12 (Md. App. 1972). In other words, if the plaintiff contributes even slightly (even by so little as 1%) to the happening of his or her injury, he or she is absolutely barred from recovery.
“The burden of proving contributory negligence is on the defendant.” Reiser v. Abramson, 286 A.2d 91, 93 (Md. 1972). It is important to stress that “[i]t is not every action on the part of a litigant which an opponent by way of ‘second guessing’ or hindsight may successfully label as contributory negligence.” Rogers v. Frush, 262 A.2d 549, 552 (1970). “[I]n measuring contributory negligence, the standard of care to be used as the criterion is that of an ordinarily prudent person under the same or similar circumstances, not that of a very cautious person.” Menish, 356 A.2d at 236.
A complaint that our firm has just filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland tells a powerful and appalling story of the abuse of an American citizen, convicted of no crime, at the hands of employees of PTS of America, Inc., a Nashville-based private company that is in the business of transporting prisoners and detainees.
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