The Maryland Litigation Blog

Facts and Opinions.
Feel free to disregard the opinions.

Insurance Companies Made Billions in Profits Last Year – So Why Are Their Premiums Going Up?

By Stephanie Yanovich

Another great piece from PopTort – read it here.

They’re at it again. Insurance companies are raising their premiums, despite raking in billions of pure profit for the third year in a row. The Covid-19 pandemic that killed millions of people and financially devastated entire industries turned out to be a boon for insurers. Of course, when your business model is based on denying businesses interruption claims stemming from the pandemic and capitalizing on civil court backlogs as a way to avoid settlement offers, you’re bound to come out on top.

None of this comes as a surprise to attorneys representing the injured. They battle claims adjusters for a living, so they’re used to this kind of stunt from insurance companies. Back in 2008 they blamed the global recession for causing a civil juror bias against corporations – and they’re still using that as an excuse to try and evade payouts over ten years later. Then they started whining about the high salaries of sports stars and celebrities and how they made civil juries “numb to monetary values.”

There’s no evidence to back these allegations up, by the way. But that hasn’t stopped the insurance industry and its lobbyists from waging a largely successful campaign over the past few decades to limit jury awards and force plaintiffs to resolve disputes through arbitration instead of the legal system. This movement is known as tort reform, and it has turned insurance companies into Goliaths with significant power over injured parties.

Plaintiff’s attorneys watch this play out every day with their clients. Adjusters make lowball settlement offers to personal injury victims that will barely cover their medical bills. They deny the surgery or medications an injured worker needs to heal. They refuse to pay part of an injured claimant’s wages while they are at home recovering. How will they put food on the table? How will they get healthy again? How will they get the compensation they need to start rebuilding their life?

Adjusters don’t care. It’s not their job to care. It’s their job to resolve claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Their company shareholders expect it. They are used to seeing profits year after year, and providing every injured claimant the benefits they deserve would cut into the bottom line.

A good claimant’s attorney knows it’s their job to care. That it’s their job to fight. That they must fight and keep holding these insurance companies accountable. Because they damn sure won’t do it themselves.

Who Insures the Top Workers’ Comp Law Firms for Comp?

By Byron Warnken

Can you learn anything about workers’ compensation insurance from some of the best law firms representing injured workers? It’s hard to say.  How law firms get comp insurance is usually based more on their insurance brokers than it is an active selection of insurers based on their experience representing injured workers. Some of the top […]

April 2016 in the Maryland Judiciary

By Byron Warnken

There were 7,976 unique cases filed in Maryland circuit courts.  This represents Maryland state circuit courts only – not federal courts or Maryland appellate courts. Torts, as usual, did not make up a particularly large portion of the cases filed.  Housing foreclosures, also as usual, represented the largest swath of cases. Break down of cases […]

First-Quarter 2016 Maryland Judiciary Statistics

By Byron Warnken

In all, there were 22,310 unique civil actions in Maryland’s circuit courts in the first quarter of 2016.  Torts, as always, were a far smaller percentage of the whole than the tort reformers would have you believe.  Case types classically defined as “torts” or personal injury – car accidents, workers’ compensation appeals, and medical malpractice […]

May 2015 Maryland Circuit Court Lawsuits Filed

By Byron Warnken

May of 2015 saw very few medical malpractice cases, as is clearly the norm.  In all, there were only 19 lawsuits listed as medical malpractice or, as Anne Arundel County lists them, MEDMAL.  Per usual, our monthly report on torts including med mal does not include Montgomery County or Prince George’s County cases, as they […]

April 2015 Maryland Litigation Statistics

By Byron Warnken

April 2015 saw 6699 different cases filed in Maryland Circuit Courts. Of these cases, only 10 were listed as medical malpractice. This is completely consistent with numbers from the first quarter. We highlighted those stats – medical malpractice made up less than one half of 1% of all circuit court cases – in this medical […]

Last Month’s Judiciary Stats

By Byron Warnken

In March, circuit courts of Maryland were, per usual, quite busy.  There were 8723 listed actions, not including criminal cases.  Of these, there were 6633 different case numbers assigned. Also as usual, the number of cases listed as personal injury or related, was only a small fraction of the whole.  There were 30 medical malpractice […]

The Maryland Judiciary’s Budget Request and Last Month’s Stats

By Byron Warnken

The Maryland Judiciary has requested $549 million dollars for their 2016 operating budget. According to the Daily Record, this is approximately a 10% increase over the current fiscal year. On first blush, this might seem like a large number. However, consider, for a moment, last month’s figures that we now report. There were 5410 cases […]

January’s Workers’ Compensation Appeal Statistics

By Byron Warnken

A week ago, we discussed last month’s medical malpractice lawsuit statistics.  There were only fourteen different suits filed in the Baltimore metro area.  In contrast, January saw 193 workers’ compensation appeals brought to circuit courts around Maryland, not including PG and Montgomery Counties.  Of the 193, 142 came from Circuit Courts in the Baltimore metro […]