Ron Miller is an attorney who focuses on serious injury and wrongful death cases involving motor vehicle collisions, medical malpractice, and products and premises liability. If you are looking for a Maryland personal injury attorney for your case, call him today at 800-553-8082.

There is a graph in Metro Verdicts Monthly on nursing home verdicts and settlements in Virginia and Maryland over the last 25 years.

The median nursing home verdict/settlement in Virginia was $287,500. In Maryland, the median verdict was $150,000. Virginia seems about right. I think the Maryland data is wrong. Again, I have no idea how Metro Verdict Monthly compiles this data.

Jury Verdict Research did a study that found that nursing home plaintiffs get a median award of $329,000. Defense lawyers are not eager to try these cases for a reason: plaintiffs win at trial a stunning 63 percent of nursing home jury trials.

An insurance policy is a contract. Insureds must read and understand their own insurance policy.

Right? Except no one reads an insurance policy. I’m not just talking about Joe Six-Pack here.  I’m talking about you, my dear reader: You, me, all of us. Why? Because our busy and lazy lives don’t allow us time to do it. “Just give me the nutshell” is the mantra even insurance lawyers have in their personal lives.

In Maryland, GEICO and State Farm, in particular, write a lot of umbrella policies.  Few of these standard policies have uninsured motorist coverage. But every victim that comes to us believes that they do.

The problem with this is that there are rare instances where reasonable people would expect insurance coverage but don’t because they didn’t read their insurance policies. What do we do in these cases when we know it is reasonable to expect coverage?

Strickley v. State Farm

The Maryland Court of Appeals answered this question incorrectly in Stickley v. State Farm last month.

The plaintiff was riding as a passenger in a car driven by her husband when her husband negligently drove into an intersection and was struck by another vehicle.

The accident killed the plaintiff’s husband and left her with serious injuries. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff and her spouse had a motor vehicle liability insurance policy with State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance and an umbrella policy with its subsidiary State Farm Fire and Casualty Company.

No, I have no idea why they do it this way.

Household Exclusion

The umbrella policy contained a household exclusion, which denied payment of damages for bodily injury or personal injury resulting from the negligence of another insured household member.

After the accident, the plaintiff filed a claim under the motor vehicle liability and umbrella policies. State Farm offered the plaintiff the full amount in liability coverage under the former but denied the second claim because of the household exclusion. The plaintiff subsequently filed suit seeking to declare the household exclusion void.

Supporting her claim, the plaintiff cited Maryland Code § 19-504.1 of the Insurance Article.  This statute requires an insurer to offer its insured, under a policy or binder of private passenger motor vehicle liability insurance (“PPMVLI”), the same amount of liability coverage for both claims made by family members and non-family members.

The plaintiff argued that the umbrella policy was a PPMVLI, and because State Farm never offered her and her husband equal coverage for family members, the household exclusion was void. Here, the court addressed two questions: (1) whether an umbrella policy that includes motor vehicle liability insurance constitutes a PPMVLI, and (2) whether the household exclusion violated public policy.

Policy or Binder of Private Passenger Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance.

The court first examined the plain language of the phrase “policy or binder of private passenger motor vehicle liability insurance.” The court noted that PPMVLI refers to a particular type of motor vehicle liability insurance, whereas a personal liability umbrella policy covers a variety of losses.

Thus, umbrella policies attach to the insured, whereas PPMVLIs attach to the motor vehicle. Also, the court stated that umbrella policies are a supplemental form of insurance distinguishable from primary policies including motor vehicle liability insurance or homeowner’s insurance.

Because they are supplemental, umbrella policies only kick in once the primary policy has been exhausted. For example, if an automobile policy had a liability limit of $100,000, the umbrella policy would pick up after that point and cover for an additional amount. Continue reading

A new Maryland Appellate Court decision, Ledford v. Jenway Contracting, Inc., involved a wrongful death lawsuit filed against an employer by the daughter of a deceased employee. The employee had died in a work-related incident.

The defendant argued that the exclusive remedy for plaintiffs was the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act exclusively governs plaintiffs’ claims.

The plaintiffs argued this is ridiculous. Why? Because dependents of employees relinquish their traditional legal right to pursue litigation in favor of a guaranteed statutory entitlement to death benefits. Non-dependents get nothing. So how can it be that non-dependent plaintiffs would forgo their right to legal action in return for an “exclusive right” that compensates them with no monetary reparation for the wrongful death of a family member?

In the new unreported Maryland Appellate Court case of Grgac v. Dash,  the court examined an appeal against a summary judgment in favor of a doctor and Johns Hopkins Hospital. The primary legal question centered on the applicability of the statute of limitations in a medical malpractice case concerning the alleged failure to diagnose multiple sclerosis (MS).

The appellate court upheld the summary judgment, emphasizing that the injury, as defined in medical malpractice law, occurred when the patient first experienced symptoms indicative of MS, which in Grgac’s case was no later than 2011.

Furthermore, in addressing Grgac’s request for an extension of time to file an opposition, the court found no abuse of discretion in its denial, underscoring the importance of adhering to procedural timelines in spite of the plaintiff’s contention that she was put in a really tough spot with her lawyer withdrawing in the middle of the case.

In an unpublished decision authored by Judge Kevin Arthur, the Maryland Appellate Court ruled that the Baltimore City Circuit Court acted within its authority when it accepted an expert’s testimony regarding medical causation in a lead paint case.  Furthermore, the court found that the evidence presented was adequate to justify a judgment exceeding $2 million in damages for injuries connected to lead exposure.

All of the new Daubert decisions are of interest to Maryland trial lawyers, even unreported cases. So let’s break down the case.


Many nursing home patients die of sepsis. Often, this does not result in a nursing home lawsuit because the infection occurred without negligence from a nursing home. But, too often, sepsis is the result of a bedsore or other preventable condition because of nursing home negligence or neglect. With nursing home sepsis, there are often signs that show an infection if the nursing home staff is paying attention.

Our lawyers handle nursing home sepsis lawsuits where a death occurs because the patient was not properly diagnosed and treated. This page talks about sepsis and the settlement value of sepsis wrongful death nursing home lawsuits.

What Is Sepsis?

A mass tort that has been getting a lot of attention from lawyers around the country in recent weeks is Xeljanz blood clot lawsuits.

Xeljanz now has a boxed warning, the FDA’s most severe safety warning, for DVT and pulmonary embolisms.

These conditions can be fatal.  This is a big deal for Pfizer’s blockbuster drug.

Suboxone is a prescription drug that is commonly used for the treatment of opioid addiction recovery. There is overwhelming evidence showing that Suboxone causes chronic dry mouth which can lead to acute tooth decay and tooth loss. The manufacturers of Suboxone were aware of this side effect for more than a decade but failed to include any warning about tooth decay on the drug product label.

Individuals who used Suboxone and suffered tooth decay are now bringing product liability lawsuits against the drug companies for negligently failing to warn about these risks. Plaintiffs are now seeking an MDL Suboxone class action lawsuit. The national product liability lawyers at Miller & Zois are now accepting Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits in all 50 states.

About Suboxone

Arthritis is such a severe injury because it is permanent. Our clients who suffer from arthritis do not get better over time. They get worse.

This page looks at the settlement compensation you can generally expect in personal injury claims where arthritis is a significant component of the victim’s injuries.

Personal Injury Claims Alleging Arthritis

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