Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

March 2013 Archives

Maryland's Top Court Overturns Billion Dollar Award for Homeowners in Gasoline Leak Case

Gas station fuel pump.jpgThe Court of Appeals of Maryland recently reversed much of a billion dollar Baltimore County jury verdict awarded to hundreds of Jacksonville, Maryland homeowners and businesses for injuries they claimed stemmed from an underground gasoline leak in 2006 at a nearby Exxon gas station. In this and the next several blog posts, we will examine various aspects of the court's ruling in the two companion cases -- Exxon Mobil Corporation v. Ford et al. and Exxon Mobil Corporation v. Albright et al. In this post, we take a look at the appellate court's reversal of the jury's verdict for the plaintiffs for fraud.

National Banks Assigned Car Loans in Maryland Must Abide by State Law

Car icon with up arrow and dollar sign green background.jpgNational banks that take over automobile loans in Maryland will have to follow a state law that requires the bank to cancel the remainder of the loan if the car is totaled and debt cancellation insurance has been purchased. One of the nation's biggest lenders had challenged the state law arguing that, because it is a national bank, it did not have to follow state law.

Court Upholds Moving Lawsuit From Baltimore City to Baltimore County

Court room, chair and open legal book.jpgAlthough "forum shopping" is often criticized, it is important for an attorney to choose the right place for a case to be tried. A change in venue can stem from negative publicity so strong that an attorney asks that the case be tried in a different place because his client can not receive a fair trial in the original jurisdiction. In other instances, an attorney - when he has a choice of locations - will ask that the case be tried in the court system and jurisdiction most advantageous to his client.

Motor Vehicle Bills Introduced in the General Assembly

Maryland State House.jpgAn expansion of the requirement to submit to blood and breath testing in the event of an auto accident that leads to injuries and a move - once again - to allow the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund to accept premiums on an installment payment basis have been introduced in the Maryland General Assembly.Senate Bill 735 authorizes a premium finance company to enter into a premium finance agreement that includes the costs of a motor club membership. The bill also alters the method by which a finance charge in a premium finance agreement is calculated. The bill increases the amount of a cancellation charge and the ceiling of a delinquency and collection charge. The bill alters the circumstances in which a premium finance agreement may require an insured to pay a cancellation charge.
SB 735 would take effect June 1, 2013.

Consumer Protection Bills Under Consideration by Maryland's General Assembly

State House, Plaque in front of building.jpgAdditional disclosure requirements for debt collectors, expanding the definition of consumer under the Maryland Consumer Protection Act and second mortgage loans maintaining a subordinate position without the need to seek the permission of the loan's holder are some of the consumer protection bills being considered by Maryland state lawmakers.

Court Denies Roofer's Request to Intervene in Personal Injury Lawsuit

Modern Office Building.jpgA federal trial court has denied a request by a roofer to participate in a lawsuit in federal court stemming from exposure to fumes from repair work at a medical office building. The United States District Court for the District of Maryland denied Ron Roofing, Inc.'s (RRR) motion to intervene in the personal injury lawsuit.

Lawsuit Against Debt Collector Dismissed for Lack of Specific Statements

business man with horns.jpgA Maryland woman who took a debt collector to court was unsuccessful in her claim that she was harassed - a violation of debt collecting laws. Priscilla Quander's lawsuit claiming violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) was dismissed by a federal trial court.

Maryland Bill Aimed at Drunk Drivers who Travel with Children Defeated in Committee

Drunk Driver.jpgThe Maryland state bill that would have required that those who have been convicted of transporting a minor while driving under the influence of alcohol to participate in the Ignition Interlock System Program has been defeated in committee. The House Judiciary Committee voted 13-9 on February 13 to defeat the proposed legislation.

Contributory Negligence Bills Introduced in General Assembly

Stethoscope.jpgMaryland's General Assembly is once again considering bills dealing with contributory negligence. Contributory negligence is a legal defense favored by businesses and doctors; but, increasingly rejected by more and more states as producing a harsh result. Under contributory negligence, if a plaintiff has contributed in any way to the incident over which he or she is suing, then the case can be thrown out of court.

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