Case Law Dispatch: Bartolomucci v. Federal Insurance

By Cory Bilton

Case: Bartolomucci v. Federal Insurance

  • Court: Virginia Supreme Court
  • Date of Decision: 4/16/15
  • Opinion by: Millette

Facts:

Vu Vo and Christopher Bartolomucci were involved in a vehicle collision. Vu filed suit against Christopher, who was a partner at the law firm of Hogan Lovells. Christopher’s personal insurance policy provided only $100,000 in coverage, which was insufficient to satisfy the damage he caused to Vu. Therefore, Christopher sought excess coverage from Hogan Lovells’ Federal Insurance policy. Federal Insurance denied that the policy provided coverage for Christopher’s collision.

Continue reading

Should I get Bicycle Insurance?

By Cory Bilton

Bike Lane 3

I recently learned that insurance companies are starting to offer bicycle insurance as a separate, stand-alone policy. Many types of insurance—such as health, auto, and home owner’s—already provide some coverage while you are riding your bike. So the idea of a stand-alone bicycle insurance policy intrigues me. What types of coverage does it provide? Who is the intended buyer? Is there any type of coverage that a bicycle insurance policy has that isn’t covered by health insurance, auto insurance, or homeowner’s insurance? Here is a close look at one cyclist insurance policy (offered by Markel Insurance).

Continue reading

Case Law Dispatch: Payne v. Erie Insurance

By Cory Bilton

Case: Payne v. Erie Insurance

  • Court: Maryland Court of Appeals
  • Date of Decision: 3/30/15
  • Appellate Panel: Barbera, Harrell, Battaglia, Greene, Adkins, McDonald, Watts
  • Opinion by: McDonald
  • Concurrence by: Harrell, Battaglia, and Watts

Facts:

Karen, the adult daughter of Alan and Maureen, lives with her parents and has unrestricted access to drive their vehicle. Karen asks the father of her children, Ameen, to pick the kids up from school using Alan and Maureen’s vehicle. Alan and Maureen have previously forbidden Ameen from driving the vehicle. While Ameen is using the vehicle, he is involved in a collision.

Continue reading

DC Superior Court Jury Verdicts from 2014

By Cory Bilton

Each year, the DC Superior Court releases jury verdict data for cases involving automobile collisions, medical malpractice, and slip and falls. Since the Superior Court is Washington DC’s main trial court, this data provides some insight into the characteristics of cases that are going to trial and how juries are deciding them. Here is a summary of the jury verdict data for 2014:

Case Type
# of Cases
Plaintiff Verdict
Avg. Verdict Amount
Defense Verdict

Automobile
57
35
$25,414.32
22

Slip & Fall
7
1
$105,000
6

Medical Malpractice
8
3
$327,908.59
5

Totals
72
39
$50,723.76
33

There are a lot of ways to misinterpret these statistics. So before jumping to any conclusions from looking at these numbers, keep the following in mind:

Continue reading

A Personal Injury Lawyer Walks in His Client’s Shoes: Part 3 – Nerve Conduction Study and EMG

By Cory Bilton

Banneker Park 3 - Aug 2014

Back in December 2014, I woke one morning with significant numbness and tingling in my left arm. After initially visiting an orthopedist, I was referred to a neurologist to perform a nerve conduction study and electromyography (“EMG”). I knew the doctor was looking to see if the nerve signals were travelling down my arm correctly. But I really had little to no idea what a nerve conduction study or EMG involved. It sounded innocent enough. Diagnostic testing would hopefully give me some insight about what was causing these symptoms in my arm.

What I didn’t realize was just how uncomfortable it is to have a nerve conduction study and EMG performed. Allow me to explain what these tests are like for the patient…

Continue reading

Case Law Dispatch: Espina v. Jackson

By Cory Bilton

Case: Espina v. Jackson

  • Court: Maryland Court of Appeals
  • Date of Decision: 3/30/15
  • Appellate Panel: Barbara, Harrell, Greene, Adkins, McDonald, Watts, McAuliffe

Facts:

Prince George’s County police officer shot and killed plaintiff. Jury returned $11 million verdict for plaintiff’s family finding officer violated plaintiff’s state constitutional rights, assaulted and battered him, and wrongfully killed him.

Continue reading

Great Idea: Using Social Media or Online Forums to Warn of Defects and Dangerous Conditions

By Cory Bilton

Memorial Bridge 1

“We didn’t know it was dangerous.” This is the response you will get in almost every case involving a dangerous product or hazardous condition that causes someone to be injured. Whether we are talking about faulty ignition switches, contaminated spinach, or uneven pavement, the initial response is nearly always that the danger was not known. Without knowledge of the danger, there was no way to prevent the harm. So the argument goes.

Continue reading