You don’t see many Maryland slip-and-fall cases in U.S. District Court.  But Bardroff v. Sanexen Water is the rare slip and fall that found its way to federal court. Last week, Federal Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson had an opportunity to rule on a slip-and-fall motion in such a case.

Facts of Bardroff v. Sanexen Water

Sanexen Water began working on the water system on Matthews Drive in Harford County where the plaintiff lived. It was a big job.  Temporary water pipes were placed along the entire length of Matthews Drive, and door hangers were placed on residents’ doors, warning them to be careful around the temporary water network. Plaintiff Bardroff interpreted this warning as an instruction for residents to avoid damaging the temporary water network.

The Maryland Daily Record had an article yesterday about the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  proposed rule to ban noncompete agreements. The rule would make noncompete agreements illegal for employers and void for employees.

Covenants not to compete, also known as non-compete agreements, are contracts between employers and employees in Maryland that prevent employees from competing with their employers for a specific period of time after termination of employment. These agreements are meant to protect the employer’s business interests, trade secrets, and confidential information.

Let’s look at Maryland covenant not to compete law and the key Maryland cases dealing with covenants not to compete.

In Maryland, certain circumstances can lead to a minor being tried as an adult.  The Maryland Appellate Court looked yesterday at a Hartford County case involving a minor between 14-18 and the analysis that goes into whether to try a minor as an adult.

Criminal proceedings involving minors require tough, sometimes impossible, decisions. The justice system aims to balance rehabilitation and punishment, but that is a tricky balance sometimes.  In this case, the minor sought to have the cases transferred to the juvenile court, arguing that it would be in the child’s and society’s best interest. However, the circuit court ultimately denied the motion, raising questions about the burden of proof and the decision to keep the cases in the adult court.

Facts of Rohrbaugh v. State

Maryland’s Supreme Court will hear arguments on Friday regarding the state’s digital advertising tax, which targets companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook. The tax applies to gross revenue from digital ads earned by companies with over $100 million in annual revenue.

The Act imposes a tax on companies with over $100 million in global annual gross revenue from digital ads earned in Maryland, ranging from 2.5% to 10%. Plaintiffs challenged the Act, alleging violations of the Commerce Clause, First Amendment, and preemption by the Internet Tax Freedom Act.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Alison L. Asti’s ruled that the online tax contravenes the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act’s ban on discriminatory taxes on online services, given that Maryland does not impose a similar tax on non-digital advertising. The Circuit Court, in its ruling, stated that digital advertising is akin to traditional advertising and, as a result, Maryland’s DAT is discriminatory under the ITFA.  The Comptroller has appealed, arguing that this ruling ignores substantial and fundamental distinctions between the operations of digital advertising platforms and traditional advertising methods.

If you are overwhelmed by debt, filing bankruptcy is often the best possible solution. A successful bankruptcy can wipe out all of your unsecured debt and give you a fresh start financially. Unfortunately, the process of filing for bankruptcy is not free. Between attorney’s fees and court filing fees bankruptcy can be pretty expensive, which is a major concern for people who are already under financial stress.

In this post, we will look at how much it can cost to file for bankruptcy in Maryland. We will look at the going rate currently charged by Maryland bankruptcy attorneys and the filing fees for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Court Filing Fees for Bankruptcy

This post was originally written in 2008.  We do not know of any active Chantix suicide lawsuits that are pending in 2023.

What the Chantix Suicide Lawsuits Were About

Chantix (varenicline) is a prescription medication developed by Pfizer to help people quit smoking. It works by reducing nicotine cravings and blocking the pleasurable effects of smoking. It worked well and Pfizer was printing money from the sales of the drug.  However, since its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006, Chantix was been linked to several serious side effects, including suicidal thoughts and behaviors, depression, and other neuropsychiatric issues.

This week, the Maryland Appellate Court issued an unreported opinion in Montgomery Mall Condo, LLC vs. Peking Palace Corp.  We usually do not summarize unreported opinions because you technically cannot cite unreported opinions.  But that line is getting more blurred in 2023. This case addresses the application of res judicata and collateral estoppel doctrines in a case, which are issues of interest to Maryland personal injury lawyers.  This case involves a breach of lease and a breach of guaranty claim but the doctrines are applied with equal force in injury cases. This case also underscores that while many people did well economically during the COVID pandemic, some businesses were destroyed.

Facts of Montgomery Mall Condo, LLC vs. Peking Palace Corp

Montgomery Mall, a really great mall back in the day, entered into a lease agreement with Peking Palace, a restaurant business owned by Liu. As part of the agreement, Liu personally guaranteed the full payment and performance of Peking Palace’s obligations under the lease.

Today, The Maryland Appellate Court decided Love v. State, a case that presents interesting issues of how courts deal with lesser included offenses.

Focus of the Appeal

The primary focus of this appeal is the legal concept of a lesser included offense. Everyone who has watched television or read about criminal trials in a newspaper understands the basic idea.  But what does it really mean, and how does the law deal with this concept.  In this case, the court pinpoints the two critical issues from the start:  1) “What exactly is a lesser included offense?” and 2) “Can a lesser included offense exist in a trial even if it has not been explicitly and independently charged?” A functional question also arises: “How should a trial judge handle a lesser included offense that has not been explicitly and independently charged when submitting issues to the jury for their determination?”

The Maryland Appellate Court decided in the Matter of Mark McCloy, a handgun permit case.

In 1999, Mark McCloy pleaded guilty to witness tampering in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He was sentenced to six months of home detention and five years of probation.

In 2015, McCloy applied for a Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL). The Maryland State Police (MSP) approved his application. McCloy used this license to purchase several firearms. When he applied for a renewal of his HQL in 2021, police did another background check and discovered his 1999 conviction. The MSP sent McCloy a letter informing him of the permit denial and his right to appeal the decision.

According to a recent Jury Verdict Research analysis, based on plaintiffs’ verdicts nationally over the last ten years, the overall median award for foot injuries is $98,583. Multiple fractures to the same foot increase the median to $144,000. In foot injury cases where both feet are fractured, the median rises to $296,940.

Another Jury Verdict Research study found that 39% of the foot injury cases that go to verdict involved auto, truck, or motorcycle accidents. In fact, a full 11% of these injuries were in motorcycle accident cases. This is incredibly high given the number of driver miles on a motorcycle versus the number logged in cars and trucks. Then again, your risk of dying in a motor vehicle accident is 28 times more likely if you are riding a sports bike than if you are enjoying the comforts of a car or truck. (The lesson, as always: don’t ride a motorcycle.)

foot injury settlements
Overall, according to one study, the average (as opposed to the median) foot injury award was $703,703. Thirteen percent of foot injury awards were in excess of $1 million.