The Injury Litigation Blog

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Lawsuits for the week of June 17, 2013

By Byron Warnken

There are three Maryland lawsuits we wanted to call your attention to this past week.   Two stem from high profile incidents, the other is a large medical malpractice decision from one of the best Baltimore medical malpractice law firms around.

CSX Sues

There was a significant Baltimore train accident nearly a month ago – May of 2013.  An individual named John Alban, the owner of a small trucking company, drove a commercial truck across train tracks in the Rosedale area of Baltimore.  A train was entering the crossing and hit the truck causing a derailment, explosions, and significant property damage.  Remarkably, no one died in the accident, though Alban was injured.

CSX, the large railway operator has sued Alban and his company.  The suit is in federal court, for which does not currently keep statistics.  CSX’s lawyer, according to the Daily Record, is Ava Lias-Booker.  She is currently the managing partner of McGuireWoods.  It’s safe to say her practice does not generally consist of what people might think of as an “injury lawyer,” though CSX is clearly an injured party.

It’s generally not common to see suit filed so quickly.  I do not know the reason, nor do I know why Federal Court was used as the venue.  If you have an injury case, generally your lawyer will attempt to negotiate before a lawsuit is filed.  The speed here might have something to do with insurance coverage.  It’s quite possible Alban did not have sufficient insurance to cover an accident of this magnitude, and CSX has policies that will cover the overage.  Such policies might require suit to be filed and or the Alban resources exhausted.  It should also be noted that liability might not be a settled issue yet, ie. We don’t know whose fault the accident was.

Shot Trainee Sues 

The Baltimore City Police officer shot as part of a training exercise is suing.  According to the Baltimore Sun, he is represented by Baltimore lawyer Dwight Pettit, a veteran of suing the Baltimore Police Department.  It seems to me that this suit must not be against the Baltimore City Police, but against the officer who shot the trainee.  The trainee’s only probable remedy against the Department, is via workers’ compensation, a no-fault remedy that will not produce settlements for pain and suffering.  However, the BPD may cover damages for the shooter.  Go here to see lawsuits against the BPD.

$620,000 Medical Malpractice Verdict

Katharine Porwick and Emily Malarkey obtained a $620,000 verdict in a Baltimore City medical malpractice case.  The two lawyers are with Baltimore medical malpractice firm Salsbury, Clements, Bekman, Marder and Adkins.  The client was a woman who had as spinal tap at the University of Maryland Medical System and was left with injury.