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BlueBook Society
Turning the page to reveal the country's most exceptional attorneys ...
Turning the page to reveal the country's most exceptional attorneys ...
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BBLS Press Release
Andrews, et. al. v. Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC.
A Federal Nuclear Research Facility, A Greedy Corporation & Mass Layoffs:
A Breach of Contract & Wrongful Termination Lawsuit in California
Settlement: September 30, 2015, for $37.25 million dollars.

http://www.bluebooksociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Press-Release-GW-Jan20-FV.pdf

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The Demise of the Cap on Damages in Washington State
The Significance of Sofie v. Fibreboard in 1987
 [Paul Stritmatter, Attorney at Law in Seattle, WA]

A Landmark Case – Sofie v. Fibreboard Corp:
Every now and then, or perhaps just once in a lifetime, a case comes along for an attorney that has an unexpected, unforeseen, far reaching impact – well beyond the initial impact it has on their client – for it will dramatically affect the outcome for those whose cases will come afterwards. Sofie v Fibreboard was one of those cases for Paul Stritmatter in 1987; it took on the newly adopted, highly controversial, and severely detrimental cap on damages put in place by the Tort Reform Act of 1986, and the case made it all the way to the Washington State Supreme Court.  This was the case that considerably lessened the severity of the Act and establish case law to take the bite out of it. Paul considers himself to have been very lucky indeed to have the opportunity to become involved. Years later, Paul would say of the case, “I consider that result and the impact it had on benefitting injured people the crowning glory of my legal career. It has touched the lives of more injured people than anything else I have ever done as a trial lawyer.”

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William S. Mills, Contributory Negligence in North Carolina

William Mills of Glenn, Mills, Fisher, & Mahoney, P. A. in Durham, N.C. says that North Carolina’s doctrine of Contributory Negligence is an antiquated, unfair doctrine that has no place in modern society. It originated in England many, many years ago, and has now been abandoned by 46 states who have adopted variations of Comparative Negligence –and it is well past the time for North Carolina to do the same. The fundamentals of this law are that if a person’s own negligent behavior, bad judgment, irresponsibility, etc., contributes in any way to causing an accident or injury to themselves, he/she can’t collect any damages from another person or party who subsequently and ultimately caused the accident or injury–even if they are only 1% at fault. Bill says, “When an injured citizen is denied recovery regardless of the degree to which they are at fault, it erodes public confidence in the fairness of our courts. North Carolina law should trust our citizen juries to proportion responsibility between the parties by adopting the more equitable rule of comparative negligence. Juries should be permitted to be fair –this is what they want to do anyway.” Furthermore, he believes there are two best options: either Pure Comparative Negligence –where a Plaintiff’s damages are totaled and then reduced to reflect his/her percentage contribution to, or responsibility for, the injury; or the 51% Bar Rule –where a damaged party cannot recover if it is 51% or more at fault; however, the damaged party can recover if it is 50% or less at fault, but that recovery would be reduced by its degree of fault. 

The main issue with respect to getting the use of the Contributory Negligence standard changed in North Carolina, is that the North Carolina Supreme Court feels the law should be replaced by the Legislature, not the Court. That is to say—it needs to be fixed by statute. There have been several attempts to do so but, Bill explains, ultimately there just weren’t enough votes to make that happen. Therefore, as long as the Court declines to get drawn into the Contributory Negligence fray, and it remains solely in the hands of the State Legislature, this “dated” doctrine of law is not likely to change anytime soon. 

Read Bill’s full article on Contributory Negligence in North Carolina:
http://www.bluebooksociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/William-S.-Mills-Contributory-Negligence-In-North-Carolina.pdf

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WHEN A LITTLE IS TOO MUCH!
Contributory Negligence in Maryland

The fundamentals of this law are that if a person’s own negligent behavior, bad judgment, irresponsibility, etc., contributes in any way to causing an accident or injury to themselves, he/she can’t collect any damages from another person or party who subsequently and ultimately caused the accident. 

Read what Henry Dugan, leading Medical Malpractice attorney in Maryland, has to say about it:

http://www.bluebooksociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/When-a-little-is-too-much.-Henry-Dugan-Maryland-Contributory-Negligence-sm-blog.pdf
WHEN A LITTLE IS TOO MUCH!
Contributory Negligence in Maryland

The Doctrine of Pure Contributory Negligence:
The fundamentals of this law are that if a person’s own negligent behavior, bad judgment, irresponsibility, etc., contributes in any way to causing an accident or injury to themselves, he/she can’t collect any damages from another person or party who subsequently and ultimately caused the accident. Traditionally, contributory negligence was viewed by the judicial system as a complete and total deterrent to recovery of any damages in a lawsuit, for this contribution in fact precipitated the injury or further aggravated the medical condition, and by so doing, disqualified the individual from compensation. Historically, this doctrine came into law as a safeguard or protection against overly sympathetic juries who often ruled in favor of plaintiffs in personal injury cases. However, this doctrine often produced decidedly unfair results as a person who might only be slightly negligent was prevented from recovering any damages at all—even from the party who was found to be much more at fault.

Maryland adopted this Contributory Negligence Doctrine in 1847. It later modified the doctrine slightly however to include exceptions for injured persons under five years of age, and in cases where it was apparent that the defendant could have exercised a sufficient amount of care to avoid consequences of a plaintiffs own negligence.  Contributory Negligence was a commonly accepted at widely applied doctrine at the time, however 46 states have now replaced it with Comparative Negligence alternatives that allow juries to apportion individual culpability to both plaintiff and defendant if necessary. The District of Columbia, Virginia, Alabama and North Carolina still adhere to the Contributory Negligence Doctrine however. 

Henry Dugan of Dugan, Babij & Tolley in Timonium, Maryland is a leading Medical Malpractice attorney that has been practicing for over 42 years.  He has this to say about it:

“Maryland’s Court of Appeals, as recently as July 2013, once more refused to tackle the agreed upon inequity of Maryland’s Tort Law Doctrine of Contributory Negligence.  Although a scathing dissent suggested that “the fossilized doctrine of contributory negligence” should be relegated to a “judicial tar pit”, the unwary or unprepared can still be totally immobilized by the doctrine’s tar.  In short, the slightest touch of the contributory negligence tar no matter how blatant and overwhelming that of the tortfeasor, is a total bar to recovery.  The child on the bike in the wrong lane, the elderly pedestrian just outside the cross-lane can easily have their cases succumb to this injustice.  Since the jury is the ultimate arbiter of  both negligence and contributory negligence, the practitioner may sometimes be able to free a plaintiff from this tar by arguments as to what is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances, but that is a two-edged sword that the defendant may just as successfully employ.  At the same time, of course, a pro active judge may decide that it is contributory negligence as a matter of law, so that situation always has to be anticipated.

In medical malpractice in Maryland, there is something of a saving grace in that any alleged contributory negligence that occurs prior to that of the tortfeasor is no bar from recovery and no defense.  Thus if a plaintiff engages in somewhat questionable behavior in the use of a ladder which results in his or her fall prior to medical malpractice in treating the injuries from the fall, the alleged contributory negligence is no defense to the malpractice.  If, however, another tortfeasor caused the fall from the ladder prior to the malpractice in treatment, both are jointly and severally liable to the plaintiff.

Having dealt with this issue or contributory negligence over the course of forty plus years, it is my opinion that in fact most juries do take into account the issue of contributory negligence by reducing the size of the verdict unless they believe that the contributory negligence was of critical importance in which case they will find for the defendant based upon the doctrine and the Court’s instructions.  What you end up with, consequently, is the jury de facto applying comparative negligence!  Ultimately, juries try to be fair even in the face of a clearly inequitable doctrine.”

[Nota bene: A tortfeasor is an individual who, intentionally or unintentionally, inflicts injury on another individual]

http://www.bluebooksociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Henry-Dugan-Maryland-Contributory-Negligence.pdf

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WHEN A LITTLE IS TOO MUCH!
Contributory Negligence in Maryland

The Doctrine of Pure Contributory Negligence:
The fundamentals of this law are that if a person’s own negligent behavior, bad judgment, irresponsibility, etc., contributes in any way to causing an accident or injury to themselves, he/she can’t collect any damages from another person or party who subsequently and ultimately caused the accident. Traditionally, contributory negligence was viewed by the judicial system as a complete and total deterrent to recovery of any damages in a lawsuit, for this contribution in fact precipitated the injury or further aggravated the medical condition, and by so doing, disqualified the individual from compensation. Historically, this doctrine came into law as a safeguard or protection against overly sympathetic juries who often ruled in favor of plaintiffs in personal injury cases. However, this doctrine often produced decidedly unfair results as a person who might only be slightly negligent was prevented from recovering any damages at all—even from the party who was found to be much more at fault.

Maryland adopted this Contributory Negligence Doctrine in 1847. It later modified the doctrine slightly however to include exceptions for injured persons under five years of age, and in cases where it was apparent that the defendant could have exercised a sufficient amount of care to avoid consequences of a plaintiffs own negligence.  Contributory Negligence was a commonly accepted at widely applied doctrine at the time, however 46 states have now replaced it with Comparative Negligence alternatives that allow juries to apportion individual culpability to both plaintiff and defendant if necessary. The District of Columbia, Virginia, Alabama and North Carolina still adhere to the Contributory Negligence Doctrine however. 

Henry Dugan of Dugan, Babij & Tolley in Timonium, Maryland is a leading Medical Malpractice attorney that has been practicing for over 42 years.  He has this to say about it:

“Maryland’s Court of Appeals, as recently as July 2013, once more refused to tackle the agreed upon inequity of Maryland’s Tort Law Doctrine of Contributory Negligence.  Although a scathing dissent suggested that “the fossilized doctrine of contributory negligence” should be relegated to a “judicial tar pit”, the unwary or unprepared can still be totally immobilized by the doctrine’s tar.  In short, the slightest touch of the contributory negligence tar no matter how blatant and overwhelming that of the tortfeasor, is a total bar to recovery.  The child on the bike in the wrong lane, the elderly pedestrian just outside the cross-lane can easily have their cases succumb to this injustice.  Since the jury is the ultimate arbiter of  both negligence and contributory negligence, the practitioner may sometimes be able to free a plaintiff from this tar by arguments as to what is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances, but that is a two-edged sword that the defendant may just as successfully employ.  At the same time, of course, a pro active judge may decide that it is contributory negligence as a matter of law, so that situation always has to be anticipated.

In medical malpractice in Maryland, there is something of a saving grace in that any alleged contributory negligence that occurs prior to that of the tortfeasor is no bar from recovery and no defense.  Thus if a plaintiff engages in somewhat questionable behavior in the use of a ladder which results in his or her fall prior to medical malpractice in treating the injuries from the fall, the alleged contributory negligence is no defense to the malpractice.  If, however, another tortfeasor caused the fall from the ladder prior to the malpractice in treatment, both are jointly and severally liable to the plaintiff.

Having dealt with this issue or contributory negligence over the course of forty plus years, it is my opinion that in fact most juries do take into account the issue of contributory negligence by reducing the size of the verdict unless they believe that the contributory negligence was of critical importance in which case they will find for the defendant based upon the doctrine and the Court’s instructions.  What you end up with, consequently, is the jury de facto applying comparative negligence!  Ultimately, juries try to be fair even in the face of a clearly inequitable doctrine.”

[Nota bene: A tortfeasor is an individual who, intentionally or unintentionally, inflicts injury on another individual]

http://www.bluebooksociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Henry-Dugan-Maryland-Contributory-Negligence.pdf

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Legge vs. Lees ... Gerry Leeseberg, Medical Malpractice Attorney, Ohio
“Death by Tonsillectomy: The Insurance Industry, In-Patient & Out-Patient Policies & the Tragic Death of Three Year Old Twins
If someone were to mention “risky surgery,” a number of such surgeries might cross your mind; open heart surgery, brain surgery, liver transplants, cancer operations, and possibly even intestine transplants. These are actually generally accepted as being the top 5 most risky surgeries due to the highly sensitive organs that are involved coupled with the extreme difficulty and complexity of the procedures. It is rather unlikely that you would even consider tonsillectomies to even be on “That” list, or if so, far, far down the list. Of course, any surgery has the risk of complications. The most common might include anesthesia problems; someone might have an adverse reaction to the drug used to anesthetize them, the breathing tube might lead to the inhalation of food or fluid into the lungs, it can also lead to something called malignant hyperthermia – the rapid and extreme rising of the body temperature. Complications might also include bleeding problems such as blood clots or the inability to heal properly and within an acceptable time period, allergic reactions to medications given during or even after surgery, or possibly even infection. What most likely DID NOT occur to you, when considering all the things which could go wrong from surgery, even including medication error or medical/surgical error or “human” error, would be “Policy” error, miscalculation or blind spot on the part of the “Insurance Company.”
Says Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney Gerry Leeseberg who handled the case: “This was one of the most fascinating, difficult, complex and tragic cases I have ever worked on. After the verdict, I actually worked with the defense expert to modify his manuscript to accurately describe what happened to these boys, in order to help educate the medical profession. At the same time, we basically forced the defense experts to acknowledge that their opinions as to the pediatric “standard of care” was in reality dictated by the insurance industry’s refusal to authorize payment for in-patient surgeries on children three years and over for tonsillectomies, despite the fact that the risk of airway collapse was only reduced a miniscule amount before and after a child’s third birth date. However, Insurance companies remain impervious to this problem. They simply refuse to reimburse for in-patient charges, placing the onus on surgeons to advise patients of the risk, and forcing patient’s family to cover the costs out of pocket, and exposing surgeons to risk if procedure is done as an outpatient and patient dies. Just another example of how the insurance industry, and not malpractice attorneys, are the real threat to physicians.”

Click here to read the unbelievable story of the tragic deaths of three year old twins following tonsillectomies.
http://www.bluebooksociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Legge-Vs-Lees-new-C2.pdf
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