Cecil County, located in northeastern Maryland at the head of the Chesapeake Bay bordering Pennsylvania, has a small circuit court with three relatively new Circuit Court judges: V. Michael Whelan, Keith A. Baynes, and Jane Cairns Murray. The Cecil County Circuit Court sits in Elkton.A Look at Cecil County Personal Injury Verdicts
Most Maryland medical malpractice and accident lawyers who are fighting to get compensation for victims view Cecil County as a less than favorable jurisdiction for their clients. But times have changed in recent years.
There have been a number of medical malpractice verdicts in Cecil County. In August, 2007, there was a $646,000 jury verdict in Cecil County (in a case where the medical malpractice insurance company made no offer). In 2000, a Cecil County jury awarded a man $1.6 million because a radiologist misread a diagnostic test showing a blood clot and there was a $1.6 million verdict in a failure to diagnose Lyme disease case in 1999. A few malpractice verdicts may not be impressive to non-medical malpractice lawyers, but plaintiffs' verdicts are typically difficult in rural counties in Maryland. Particularly given the relatively small number of medical malpractice cases that are filed in Cecil County, these verdicts show Cecil County juries will not assume that a doctor is always right.
In car and truck accident cases, verdicts have risen as well. Because I-95 comes right through Cecil County, there a number of serious truck accident cases that are venued in the county. In these cases, jurors have been very reasonable. In 2003, there was a jury verdict of $3.25 million in a personal injury truck accident case in Cecil County.
In truck accident cases, the question of whether the jury is conservative becomes less important: in serious injury and death cases, the differences between jurors considerably narrows. There have also been a good number of mid six figure verdicts in recent years in serious care accident cases. If the claim is serious, you can expect a Cecil County jury to be fair.
The operative word is serious. In you look at reported verdicts, Cecil County juries are tough - really tough - on small soft tissue injury cases. In 2012, there were a good number of verdicts in cases where there was no dispute as to who was at fault for the accident, and the plaintiff still lost and got a zero verdict. Bluntly put, if you have a relatively minor injury that you cannot prove on a radiological test like a x-ray or a MRI, you are going to struggle even with the best personal injury lawyer unless you have a very compelling case.Settlements in Cecil County Case
As a result of better verdicts in Cecil County in serous injury cases, we are starting to see settlement values rise. Clearly, settlement values are continuing to rise in motor vehicle accident cases as well. Our law firm does not handle small soft tissue injury cases. But it is reasonable to expect that the values of cases have not risen much because, even today, it is clear that Cecil County juries just do not like these claims in most cases.
The take home message in all of this is that no smart lawyer is going to file a case in Elkton he has a choice and there are better options available, such as Baltimore City or even Baltimore County. But for serious injury claims, Cecil County is a venue plaintiffs' attorneys should no longer fear.The Court in Cecil County
There are four circuit court judges in Cecil County:
- Judge Keith A. Baynes
- Judge Jane C. Murray
- Judge Brenda A Sexton
- Judge V. Michael Whelan
In 2014, Judge Baynes replaced Judge Whelan as the administrative judge on the court.Hiring a Lawyer for Your Accident or Medical Malpractice Case in Cecil County
Our accident lawyers handle a substantial number of serious personal injury cases in Cecil County. We handle only serious injury accident, malpractice, and product and premises liability claims. If you have been injured in Cecil County, call our lawyers at 800-553-8082 or select here for a free consultation.Reviews of Other Maryland JurisdictionsCecil County Settlements and Verdicts