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Thanks to Delegate C.T. Wilson’s persistent effort, the Maryland General Assembly passed and Governor Larry Hogan signed into law House Bill 642 on April 4, 2017.  The new law provision extends the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse to sue offenders and the individuals, organizations and/or government entities who allowed the abuse to occur.

Maryland’s previous statute of limitations provided that child sex abuse victims only had to age 25 to sue (seven years from the date the victim reached the age of majority). The new law extends the statute of limitations to age 38. Although the law is a huge step forward, there are a couple of important things to note.

The Law Requires Gross Negligence to Sue Responsible Third Parties

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Although we are based in Maryland, our attorneys are often retained to handle wrongful death cases all over the United States. Below is a detailed discussion on the status of the wrongful death law in Massachusetts:

Questions Presented: (1) Who can bring, and benefit from, a wrongful death action under Massachusetts law? (2) What damages can be recovered for wrongful death? (3) Is there a cap on non-economic damages?

Discussion:

(1) Who can bring, and benefit from, a wrongful death action under Massachusetts law?

The entire statutory scheme for wrongful death recovery in Massachusetts is contained in G.L. c. 229. The basic principles for liability for wrongful death are set forth in G.L. c. 229, § 2, which provides:

A person who (1) by his negligence causes the death of a person , or (2) by willful, wanton or reckless act causes the death of a person under such circumstances that the deceased could have recovered damages for personal injuries if his death had no resulted, or (3) operates a common carrier of passengers and by his negligence causes the death of a passenger, or (4) operates a common carrier of passengers and by his willful, wanton or reckless act causes the death of a passenger under such circumstances that the deceased could have recovered damages for personal injuries if his death had not resulted, or (5) is responsible for a breach of warranty . . . which results in injury to a person that causes death, shall be liable [for] damages. . . .

G.L. c. 229, § 2. Thus, the statute allows recovery for death resulting from negligence, breach of warranty, or reckless or intentional conduct.

The proper party to bring a wrongful death suit under G.L. c. 229, § 2 is the administrator or executor of the decedent’s estate. G.L. c. 229, § 2. The personal representative brings the action to enforce the rights of the estate and the statutory beneficiaries. The beneficiaries may not sue in their own names for any damages resulting from wrongful death. See Stockdale v. Bird & Son, Inc., 399 Mass. 249 (1987). A wrongful death action may be brought against any person or corporation who causes the death of a person. G.L. c. 229, § 2.
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In Maryland, to establish a claim of fraudulent misrepresentation, a plaintiff must prove: (1) that a false representation was made, (2) that its falsity was either known or that the representation was made with such reckless disregard to the truth as to be equivalent to actual knowledge of falsity, (3) that the representation was made for the purpose of defrauding the plaintiff, (4) that the plaintiff had the right to, and did, reasonably rely on the representation, and would not have acted had the misrepresentation not been made, and (5) that the plaintiff suffered damage directly resulting from the misrepresentation. See Swinson v. Lords Landing Village Condo., 360 Md. 462, 476, 758 A.2d 1008, 1016 (2000) (citing Gittings v. Von Dorn, 136 Md. 10, 15-16, 109 A. 553, 553-54 (1920); Martens Chevrolet v. Seney, 292 Md. 328, 333, 439 A.2d 534, 537 (1982)).

In determining the amount of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation in Maryland, the Court of Appeals adopted the “flexibility theory” in Hinkle v. Rockville Motor Co., 262 Md. 502, 519, 278 A.2d 42, 47 (1971). In doing so the court stated, “[it] has never taken a rigid stand in adopting one theory of damages to the exclusion of all others but has rather employed a flexible approach.” This approach uses four rules as a guide for the proper measure of damages in cases of fraudulent misrepresentation, which include:

(1) If the defrauded party is content with the recovery of only the amount that he actually lost, his damages will be measured under that rule;

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Lawyers who practice personal injury and accident law in Maryland and across the United States are often surprised to learn that the United States has a right to recover from third parties the reasonable value of medical care and pay that has been furnished or will be furnished in the future to accident victims. See Army Regulation 27-20
42 U.S.C. §§ 2651-53
In any case where the United States is authorized or required to pay for hospital, medical, surgical, or dental care and treatment under circumstances creating tort liability on a third person, the United States has an independent right to recover from the third person, or his insurer, the reasonable value of care and treatment furnished. The United States has a right to be subrogated to any claim that the injured person has against a third person to the extent of the reasonable care and treatment furnished. The United States may also require that the injured party assign his claim or cause of action against the third person to the extent of that right or claim.

If state law provides an alternative system of compensation or reimbursement for expenses of hospital, medical, surgical, or dental care or treatment under a policy of insurance, contract, medical, or hospital service agreement, or similar agreement, the United States is a third party beneficiary. The United States shall be subrogated to any right or claim the injured person has under the policy, contract, agreement, or arrangement to the extent of the reasonable value of care and treatment.
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Following the drowning death of their three-year-old son in a septic tank, a Montana family recently filed a lawsuit against their local water and sewer district. In 2007, the young boy, while playing in a driveway at a family friend’s home, fell into the tank and drowned. In the lawsuit, the Montana family claimed that local district officials were negligent in two ways: (1) the septic system was placed to close to the driveway; and (2) that the district was negligent in failing to install what is known as a “kid-catcher” safety device at the opening of the tank, a saftey feature that would have prevented their son’s death.

As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland lawyer, I have successfully handled prior drowning deaths in septic tanks or similar sewage facilities. Because of the well-known hazard that these tanks/facilities pose to small children, there are clear standards and safety features that have been adopted by a variety of professional organizations, standards/features that are designed to prevent these types of tragedies. Unfortunately, due to the large number of these older tanks that remain unmarked and/or unidentified on individuals’ properties, these preventable tragedies continue to this day. If a loved one has been injured or died as a result of a similar tragedy, call the lawyers at STSW for a free consultation.

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Our Maryland plaintiff’s attorneys are experienced in handling cases involving Marylanders who are injured by unscrupulous realtors. Often we prosecute malpractice claims against the realtor for claims such as fraud or conflict of interest. During the course of this representation, we are asked how to file a complaint with the Board against these realtors for sanctions against the public.

Below is our internal memo which outlines the process:

(1) File complaint with The Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS (GBBR) for violating Code of Ethics a. If found to be in violation of Code of Ethics – REALTOR may be subject to a fine, suspension of membership or expulsion from the association i. Must cite which section of Code of Ethics they violated
b. Claim = per incident
i. CANNOT process claims for monetary damages
ii. If legal action has been filed with Courts, CANNOT consider any complaint filed with GBBR until legal action has been resolved
iii. Complaint must be filed 180 days after facts were known
iv. Individual complaint being filed against must be member of GBBR
c. Copies of application to file complaint and information from website is attached

(2) File complaint with Maryland Real Estate Commission
a. Only accepts complaints against individuals with real estate licenses
b. Claims brought for violation of Title 17 of Business & Professions Article
i. Claim = per incident
ii. May recover compensation from Guaranty Fund for an actual loss
1. May not exceed $25,000 per claim
2. Claim must (1) be based on an act or omission of licensed real estate broker/sales person; (2) involve transaction that relates to real estate in MD; and (3) is based on an act or mission in which money or property is obtained by theft, embezzlement, false pretenses or forgery; or constitutes fraud or misrepresentation
c. If found to be in violation, sanctions include – license revoked, required to pay a fine, license suspended, reprimands
i. Copies of application to file complaint and information from website is attached
ii. Examples of violations & penalties imposed; complaints which were denied; and complaints which were awarded funds from the Guaranty Fund are attached
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Arthur deRoaldes Remanjon, a wedding photographer who also documented Fells Point and New Orleans, died Wednesday when the motorcycle he was driving struck a vehicle in the Tuscany- Canterbury section of North Baltimore. A recent article in the Baltimore Sun, documents the life and achievments of this wellknown Baltimore resident and describes the tragic circumstances surrounding his death. Every year, hundreds of Maryland residents are injured or killed in motorcycle accidents around the state. Many of these accidents could have been avoided had the other drivers been paying proper attention and following the rules of the road. As experienced accident attorneys, we can help injured citizens and their families recover for accidents caused by negligent drivers. Our firm has secured numerous large verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients who have been injured by negligent drivers.
If you or someone you know is injured an automobile or motorcyle accident, please feel free to contact me at 410-385-225 or czissel@mdattorney.com

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