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Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz Wins Appeal in Case Against Baltimore Medics

Published on Oct 10, 2018 at 3:58 pm in Firm News.

Claims against Maryland EMTs and paramedics for improper medical care are extraordinarily difficult due to a law known as the “Fire and Rescue Act” that providers emergency medical responders limited immunity from claims for medical negligence. In order to obtain recovery, the patient must present evidence that the first responders were guilty of “gross negligence.” Our courts have defined gross negligence as a conduct that represents a “wonton and reckless disregard for human life.” This is the same standard required in negligent homicide cases brought against criminal defendants who lack the intent to kill but whose conduct is so reckless as to expose them to liability for homicide should their conduct cause someone’s death.

Alan J. Belsky and Thomas X. Glancy, Jr. of the firm have now prevailed twice in such a case and are pleased to report the details of their hard-fought victories in the case of Estate of Butler v. Stracke.

Their first victory came in the form of a jury verdict against Baltimore City Fire Department EMTs Joseph Stracke and Paramedic Stephanie Cisneros against whom the jury awarded $3.7 million in March 2017. That verdict was overturned by Baltimore City Trial Judge Althea Handy who deemed the evidence of gross negligence insufficient despite the jury’s conclusion that the evidence was sufficient.

Their second victory came on October 1, 2018 when the Maryland Court of Special Appeals reversed the trial judge’s decision and ordered that the jury’s verdict be reinstated. In so ruling, the appeals court found “substantial evidence of gross negligence. The court’s ruling is summarized below:

On March 2, 2011, Kerry Butler Jr. (Mr. Butler), a 28-year-old man, suffered a heart attack after waking up. As instructed, his wife, Crystal Butler (Ms. Butler), called 911 to report the event and seek emergency medical attention. When the medics arrived, Ms. Butler claimed they showed up without a medic bag or stretcher. They did not ask questions about Mr. Butler’s symptoms or medical history, and Butler was made to walk to the ambulance. The medics’ report contradicted the wife’s report.

Per the 911 call, the medics were aware they were being dispatched to respond to chest pain; however, they did not follow proper protocol and concluded Mr. Butler was stable in the ambulance. Mr. Butler was taken to Harbor Hospital, where he later suffered a heart attack and passed away. As a result, Mr. Butler’s estate filed a suit against the City and the medics involved, alleging gross negligence (i.e. acting with wanton and reckless disregard for others) due to their emergency response.

Attorney Antonio Aquia is Recognized as “Super Lawyer’s Rising Star” by Law and Politics

Published on Dec 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm in Firm News.

Belsky, Weinberg, & Horowitz, LLC, is proud to announce the designation of Antonio Aquia as “Super Lawyer’s Rising Star”. Identification as a Super Lawyer involves a rigorous four-step process: (1) Creation of the Candidate Pool Through a Statewide Survey of Lawyers; Evaluation of Candidates by the Law & Politics Research Department; Peer Evaluation by Practice Area; and a Final Selection Process according to firm demographics in the state. Only five percent of all lawyers in the state receive the Super Lawyer designation. This year Antonio Aquia was the only Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney in the State of Marylandreceiving this desgnation. After nearly ten years of hard work, dedication, and loyalty to his firm and his clients, Mr. Aquia has a developed a reputation for bringing professionalism, skillfulness, and reasoned approaches to all of his cases. He also speaks and lecturesfrequently to other lawyers in continuing legal education courses striving to raise the standard of performance of the Maryland Bankruptcy Bar. As a founding co-member of the Maryland State Bar Association Consumer Bankruptcy Section, Mr. Aquia has always prided himself in giving back to Bar and to the community that has given him the opportunity to do so much. Congratulations on a job well done and an award so deserved, keep up the good work!

Alan J. Belsky and Others to Be Honored by Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

Published on Oct 19, 2009 at 2:03 pm in Firm News.

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service has announced that Alan J. Belsky, managing partner of Belsky, Weinberg and Horowitz, LLC, along with nine other lawyers, one law firm, and the United States Bankruptcy Court, will be honored at the MVLS ceremony on October 27th at the University of Maryland School of Law’s Westminster Hall. Mr. Belsky is being honored for providing pro bono representation to MVLS clients for ten consecutive years. Since going into private practice, Mr. Belsky has represented over 75 pro bono clients in a variety of legal matters, including age/race discrimination and consumer bankruptcy cases.

In addition to Mr. Belsky, the following firms and attorneys are being honored by MVLS:

–The law firm ofOber Kalerhas been named the MVLS 2009 law firm of the year in recognition of the services the firm’s lawyers have provided to its clients;

— Melanie Murray Mfume will be honored with the volunteer of the year award for her representation of low-income clients in foreclosure cases and support of the Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project;

— Lawrence D. Coppel will receive the leadership award for his work as treasurer of MVLS’ board of directors and for improving services to low-income people in bankruptcy cases.

— The University of Maryland School of Law’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic will be presented with the partnership award for 10 years of partnering with the MVLS Low Income Taxpayer Clinic;

— The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore will be honored with the award for special project of the year for its Debtor Assistance Project offering free legal advice in bankruptcy cases for people unable to afford an attorney;

— The MVLS Ten-Year Award will be presented to lawyers Alan J. Belsky, C. Christopher Brown, Constance M. Hare, Mary T. Keating, Christopher R. Rahl, Steven D. Silverman and James L. Wiggins.

— MVLS will also present a special pro bono award to U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin.

Four Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz Attorneys Designated as “Super Lawyers” for 2010

Published on Sep 2, 2009 at 1:59 pm in Firm News.

Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz isproud to announce that Alan J. BelskyRobert L. WeinbergJeff Horowitz and Antonio Aquia have received the prestigious “Super Lawyer” designation by the publication, Law & PoliticsIdentification as a Super Lawyer involves a rigorous four-step process: (1) Creation of the Candidate Pool Through a Statewide Survey of Lawyers; Evaluation of Candidates by the Law & Politics Research Department; Peer Evaluation by Practice Area; and a Final Selection Process according to firm demographics in the state. Only five percent of all lawyers in the state receive the Super Lawyer designation. This year, Mr. Belsky received the degination for Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury–Medical Malpractice. Mr. Weinberg received the designation for Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury–General; Mr. Horowitz received the designation for Plaintiff’s’ Workers’ Compensation; and Mr. Aquia received the designation in Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights.

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