This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Criminal Law

Legislation Related to Medical Malpractice Despite the substantial tort reform already on the books

in Maryland and the annual decrease in malpractice premium charges to doctors resulting from the improving economy, each year injured patients in Maryland still face substantial attempts to limit their rights. MAJ defeated those attempts again in 2011 and even helped pass a bill to curtail the ability of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to interfere with our clients’ use of their malpractice recoveries.

HB 924

Commissions on State-Administered Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Tis bill was strongly opposed by MAJ as it would have established a commission to explore and propose bringing Maryland’s physicians under the Maryland Tort Claims Act. Te bill died in committee without being brough to a vote.

HB 1277 Trusts - Special Needs, Supplemental Needs, or Pooled Asset Special Needs Trusts - Public Benefits MAJ strongly supported this bill, yet to be signed by the Governor, which declares the policy of the State of Maryland to support the use of Special Needs and Pooled Trusts, states that trust assets may be used to pay for housing, food, utilities and transportation, and limits the authority of the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene to impose regulations that defeat the purpose of such trusts. Tis bill will take effect on October 1, 2011.

HB 784/SB 723 Medical Records - Health Information Exchanges MAJ strongly opposed an immunity provision contained in these bills requiring the Maryland Health Care Commission to adopt regulations for the privacy and security of protected health information obtained or released through a health information exchange. Te immunity provisions were removed and the bills passed. Signed by the Governor, the bills take effect October 1, 2011.

HB 340 Health Care Malpractice - Certificate and Report of Qualified Expert - Objections Tis bill, strongly supported by MAJ, would have required parties to a medical negligence action to raise timely challenges to the legal sufficiency of their opponents’ certificate of qualified expert and report so that deficiencies could be promptly corrected. Tis bill died in committee but is expected to be modified and refilled next session with a different result.

HB 1192 Health Care Malpractice - Expression of Regret or Apology - Inadmissibility Tis perennial favorite of the tort reform movement was strongly opposed by MAJ. Te hearing on the bill was canceled and the bill was withdrawn by its sponsor.

Generally Good Legislation

SB 309/HB 442 Consumer Protections - Transparency in Consumer Arbitrations Act Tese bills would have required arbitration organizations to disclose publicly for 5 year periods information regarding the arbitrations it handles including: whether the dispute involves goods, services, real property or credit; whether consumer or non-consumer party prevailed; the number of times the non-consumer party has prevailed during the reporting period; the amount of the claim, award and other relief granted; the name of the arbitrator and the fee charged, etc. MAJ supported these bills, which passed the General Assembly. If signed by the Governor, the bills take effect October 1, 2011.

Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP mourns the loss and honors the life

of our beloved remaining founding partner Martin E. Gerel

October 27, 1918 – April 1, 2011

Our partner, mentor and friend of many years, who along with Lee C. Ashcraft founded the law firm of Ashcraft & Gerel 58 years ago, was known as a leading expert in the field of Workers’ Compensation. From a small DC walk up in 1953, Lee and Marty grew the firm to one of the largest personal injury law firms in the nation. He was known to all who dealt with him professionally as a tireless advocate and a relentless adversary, but to all of us at Ashcraft & Gerel he was “Marty” ‐ ‐ dignified, fair, compassionate and uncompromising in his principles. He was a great lawyer, a great partner and a great friend. We will miss him.

The Lawyers & Staff of Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP

Trial Reporter / Summer 2011 11

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68