COVID-19 Notice: We are providing FREE consultations via phone or video conferencing for your safety and convenience. Learn More »

3M earplug hearing loss victims have been searching the Internet looking for what the $7.1 million earplug verdict means to their lawsuit. Our lawyers are reviewing these cases all over the country in every state.

At the end of this post, we will ask you to contact us to get your case started if you have not filed one already. First, let’s talk about this verdict and what it means to you.

The 3M Earplug Verdict on Friday

In Giant of Maryland LLC v. Karen Webb, No. 413, Sept. Term 2019, was asked to decide whether Giant could be liable for an injury to a customer caused by a Pepsi delivery driver while stocking Pepsi products on the shelves. The Pepsi driver was not a Giant employee so the issue was whether Giant could still be liable for his negligent actions based on the level of control they had over him inside the store.

The COSA held that Giant did not have enough control to be liable for the actions of the Pepsi driver. Giant’s “general control” over the work of its product delivery drivers at the store was not enough. In order to be liable, Giant would need to have maintained control over the “operative details and methods” of the independent contractor’s work, including the “very thing from which the injury arose.”

Summary of Giant of Maryland v. Webb

Spinal fusion surgery significantly increases the potential value of any back injury claim.  Our Maryland personal injury lawyers see a lot of back injuries and we have seen first-hand how spinal fusion surgery can double or triple the settlement value of these cases.

This post looks at lumbar spinal fusion settlements and verdicts in cases where the victim was required to undergo spinal fusion surgery.

About Back Injury Cases

The purpose of this post is to help you better understand how epidural steroid injections impact the settlement compensation payouts in motor vehicle accident cases where the victim suffers a herniated or bulging disc.

A disc herniation is a type of disc injury that is frequently caused by car accidents.  The impact of a car accident often exerts significant force and pressure on the spine.  This pressure can cause a tear and rupture or bulge of the spinal discs, which act as pads or cushions for the spine.   Sometimes, the best treatment for this injury is epidural steroid injections.

Our firm has handled scores and scores of herniated disc injury cases.  Our first trial at Miller & Zois was a herniated disc verdict in 2003.  Our doors had been open for about a month. The defendant offered $25,000 to settle a no property damage herniated disc injury case where the most aggressive treatment was epidural steroid injections.

You are injured, intentionally or unintentionally, by the actions of a minor.  The question is, can you file a lawsuit against that minor in Maryland?

The legal concept of “minority” is something that we all understand on a basic level. Children or “minors” (anyone under the age of 18) don’t have the same legal standing or capacity as adults. The underlying reason for this is simple: children don’t have the maturity and mental competence as an adult so we don’t hold them to the same level of accountability.

But what happens if you get seriously injured by the negligent or intentional actions of a minor? What if a 16-year-old driver runs a red light and puts you in a wheelchair for life? Can you sue a minor for negligence and get financial compensation? What if a 9th grader runs over a little old lady on his skateboard and breaks her hip? Does the little old lady have any legal recourse?

This post will go over some basic legal concepts that you need to know about doctor-patient confidentiality.

Confidentiality between patients and physicians is a fundamental tenet of modern healthcare and medical practice. Knowing that your doctor will keep your personal information confidential is absolutely necessary for effective medical evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. Without this safeguard, patients would not feel free to disclose certain things to their doctors.

Most people are generally aware of the concept of doctor-patient confidentiality law. We sort of just expect our doctors to keep our personal information confidential and we understand that there are some ethical rules that require them to do that. But few people are very familiar with the legal underpinnings of doctor-patient confidentiality. Confidentiality is more than just an ethical ideal that physicians are supposed to adhere to for their patients.  Patients have an affirmative legal right to confidentiality. In fact, most states have statutory laws protecting patient confidentiality.

In Thomas v. Shear, the Court of Appeals held in an unreported opinion that a malpractice claim alleging a surgical clip was left inside a patient in 2000 was barred by the statute of limitations. Although the surgical clip was not actually discovered in the plaintiff’s body until 14 years later, her own expert witnesses offered testimony suggesting that her statute of limitations began to run in 2006 at the latest.

Facts of Thomas v. Shear

This medical malpractice case began in May 2000.  The plaintiff underwent a surgical procedure performed by the defendant surgeon at GBMC.

In Williams v. Baltimore City, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland examined the establishment of actual or constructive notice. The court found that the mere fact that a municipality knows of a defective hydrant does not ordinarily include notice of a particular danger. Rather, there must be actual or constructive notice of a particular defect that caused the injury. The court concluded that there was no error in granting summary judgment in favor of the municipality because the plaintiff failed to produce sufficient evidence that a leaking hydrant created a dangerous roadway condition that caused her accident, even though the plaintiff did provide evidence that the hydrant itself was defective.

Factual Background

This is a car accident case.  The plaintiff hit her brakes as another car pulled in front of her on Franklin Square Drive near its intersection with Balistan Street in Baltimore City.  Her car swayed and she lost control and her car ended up on its side.  The fire department had to cut her out of the vehicle. She sought immediate treatment at Franklin Square Hospital .

Just as protests over the death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer were erupting around the country, Maryland’s Court of Appeals issued a very timely decision regarding a racially charged police shooting. In Blair v. David Austin, Maryland’s high court reinstated a $200,000 verdict against a Baltimore City Police officer who shot an unarmed black man during a 2015 traffic stop. Specifically, the court held that the Court of Special Appeals erred when it overruled a jury’s decision based on the court’s own independent evaluation of the video evidence. The court explained that whether a video shows excessive police force is a question for the jury, not the court.

Fact Summary

This case arose from an all too familiar event.  My gosh, we are all sick of it.  In February 2015, Baltimore City Police officer attempted to pull over a man (with the last name Blair) for running a red light. Mr. Blair did not immediately pull over and ran another red light before eventually stopping on Freemont Ave. A nearby security camera recorded the stop. The video shows Mr. Blair gets out of his car and move toward Office Austin.

The Maryland Court of Appeals is still working during the coronavirus shutdown.  The court put out a new opinion Monday in Nationwide v. Shilling that addressed the question of when the 3-year statute of limitations begins to run on a claim for underinsured motorist benefits.

The gist of the court’s holding is good for plaintiffs.  The court found that a claim for underinsured motorist benefits is basically a breach of contract action. So the statute of limitations begins to run when the insurance carrier breaches the contract by denying the insured’s UIM claim.  Our lawyers have always interpreted the law this way.  But we always pretended that the statute of limitations was not extended because even having to fight this issue and win is not worth the trouble of not fighting the issue at all.

But this case has dicta that has two big problems that are very troubling with respect to the insurance company’s ability to modify the statute of limitations in uninsured motorist cases by putting a different statute of limitations in their contracts.  This would be a disaster and lead to a ton of litigation over any issue that is well understood by everyone.