Andrew Baida’s Recent Court Decisions
In a decision issued on October 4, 2017, the Circuit Court for Baltimore County in The Cochran Firm - DC, PLLC v. Sullivan dismissed a declaratory judgment action filed by a law firm against the guardians of an individual who had sued the law firm in another case for committing legal malpractice by failing to file a timely medical malpractice action. The law firm sought a declaration that the medical malpractice action was not barred by the statute of limitations and that the guardians had no right to file a medical malpractice claim. The Circuit Court held that the same issues raised in the declaratory judgment case can and should be decided in the pending legal malpractice action. Andy Baida represented the guardians.
In Viveros v. Landcrafters, LLC, decided on December 16, 2015, Andy Baida convinced the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to reverse the trial court's dismissal of his client's worker's compensation claim and remand the case for a trial. The trial court dismissed the claim on the ground that the record of the proceedings before the Workers' Compensation Commission was not timely transmitted to the trial court. The appellate court reversed, holding that there was substantial compliance with the Maryland Rule governing submittal of the record and that a delay in transmitting a portion of the record resulted in no prejudice.
In a case referred by counsel for the plaintiff, Andy Baida persuaded the Court of Appeals of Maryland in Harbor Hospital v. Norfleet (January 20, 2015) not to disturb a $21 million jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff for injuries resulting from a hospital's negligence.
In University of Maryland Medical System Corp. v. Sheldon, decided on September 19, 2013, Andy Baida convinced the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to uphold a $1.8 million jury verdict awarding damages for injuries his client sustained as a result of a hospital’s negligence in treating him after he fell from a roof and fractured an ankle. The appellate court rejected the hospital’s argument that the plaintiff failed to comply with the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Act by failing to name an individual health care provider in his expert’s Certificate, stating that the identification of a particular physician health care provider can carry negative ramifications for the named physician, and that the parties agreed before the Certificate was filed that no individual health care providers would be named. Click here to read the opinion.
In Little v. Schneider, Maryland’s top court reversed an intermediate appellate court decision and reinstated a $2.8 million jury verdict in favor of Andy Baida’s client for injuries she suffered as a result of a vascular surgeon’s negligence during an attempted aortobifemoral bypass surgery. In overturning the decision of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, which had previously set aside the verdict, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that the trial court properly admitted evidence establishing that the physician was not board-certified in vascular surgery after the physician placed his qualifications at issue by telling the jury about his credentials, experience, and achievements. The Court of Appeals also held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in prohibiting the physician from testifying about a CAT scan which allegedly bolstered his contention that he was not negligent, stating that the physician was a fact witness only, that he did not use the CAT scan in treating the patient and had no personal knowledge concerning its contents, and that he could testify only as to what he did and observed in the course of that treatment. Read more about the case in the front page August 26, 2013 Daily Record article entitled, "Jury’s $2.8M verdict revived," by clicking here.
Andy Baida and Stuart Cherry represented the prevailing party in an appeal in which the Maryland Court of Special Appeals dismissed a challenge to a trial court order requiring a hospital to disclose the names and addresses of hundreds of former patients who received letters from the hospital raising issues about coronary stents they had undergone. The Court of Special Appeals held that the trial court’s order was not appealable under the collateral order doctrine. The appellate court also held that it did not have jurisdiction to review the trial court’s order due to a change in circumstances which occurred since the hospital noted its appeal. Read more about the case in the front page July 23, 2013 Daily Record article entitled, "CSA splits wins in back-to-back stent cases," by clicking here.
In Wrightson v. Ashburn, decided on April 5, 2013, Andy Baida and Stuart Cherry successfully persuaded the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to overturn multiple verdicts returned by a jury based on claims arising out of a contract which the plaintiff alleged she had entered into with their clients. The total amount awarded the plaintiff at trial was $1,015,000. On appeal, the court reversed all judgments with the exception of a judgment for $315,000 against one of the clients based on a breach of contract claim, which the court vacated and remanded to the trial court for the entry of a judgment for $80,000.
Andy Baida and Stuart Cherry convinced the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to reinstate a jury verdict awarding $1,123,000 in damages for injuries sustained by their client as a result of the defendant health care providers’ negligence in treating the client and failing to prevent him from having a stroke. The appellate court held that the client’s expert’s detailed trial testimony concerning the defendants’ violations of the standard of care cured any perceived lack of detail in the expert’s pre-trial certificate and report. The court also held that there was sufficient evidence supporting the jury’s finding that but for the defendants’ negligence, the client’s stroke would have been prevented. Click here to read the opinion. Read more about the case in the front page March 28, 2013 Daily Record article entitled, "CSA restores stroke verdict," by clicking here.
Andy Baida successfully argued before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals that a board certified nephrologist was qualified under the Health Care Malpractice Claims Act to testify that a board certified urologist deviated from the standard of care in treating a fifteen-year-old patient when he went to a hospital emergency department complaining of blood in his urine. The trial court held that the nephrologist “was not qualified to say what a urologist was able to do” in these circumstances and entered judgment against the patient, who, following his emergency room discharge, ultimately suffered kidney failure caused by nephritis, which is an inflammation of the kidneys. In reversing the trial court’s decision and ordering the reinstatement of the patient’s medical malpractice claim against the urologist, the Court of Special Appeals held that nephrology and urology are “related” specialties under the Act when, as in this case, the particular procedure or treatment at issue is the preparation of a differential diagnosis from an emergency room consult involving a patient who presents with blood and protein in his urine. Read more about the case in the March 7, 2013 Daily Record article entitled, "CSA revives suit over teen’s kidney failure," by clicking here.
In DiCarlo v. Cohen & Greene, P.A., decided on March 19, 2012, Andy Baida persuaded the Court of Special Appeals to reverse a judgment against his client which awarded her former attorney compensation for services rendered in connection with a personal injury claim that the attorney agreed to handle on a contingency basis. Stating that the client had a good faith basis for being dissatisfied with the attorney and terminating their relationship, the appellate court held that the attorney’s right to compensation did not accrue unless there was a recovery on the client’s claim, and that no such accrual would occur because the client’s claim was dismissed after she discharged the attorney.
Andy Baida convinced the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to uphold a $3.6 million jury verdict in University of Maryland Medical System Corp. v. Gholston, decided on February 10, 2012, on the grounds that there was legally sufficient evidence to support the jury’s findings that the hospital’s negligence in this case proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries and that those injuries included significant cognitive deficits which will limit the plaintiff’s future employment opportunities. The appellate court rejected the hospital’s argument that the plaintiff’s injuries were the consequence of being born prematurely at 26 weeks and not negligence, stating that it was reasonable for the jury to credit the testimony of the plaintiff’s experts that his injuries resulted from an acute episode of hypoxia during labor which was caused by a condition known as an umbilical cord prolapse, and that the plaintiff did not suffer from any of the complications typically seen in premature babies, such as a major brain hemorrhage, a significant blood infection, or problems with the bowel that can cause it to burst. The court also rejected the hospital’s argument for a stricter standard of proof in medical malpractice cases involving premature infants, stating that while the jury probably appreciated the hospital’s efforts in extending the plaintiff’s mother’s pregnancy from 23 to 26 weeks, the jury also recognized that the health care providers did not adhere to the standard of care in delivering the plaintiff and thereby caused his injuries. Click here to read the Daily Record article entitled "$3.6M verdict is upheld," which was published on February 14, 2012.
Gerry Gaeng, Andy Baida and Jim Crossan successfully represented several national financial services companies in multiple consolidated appeals of consumer lawsuits that were recently decided by Maryland’s Court of Appeals. The cases were brought by borrowers under Maryland’s Secondary Mortgage Loan Law (“SMLL”) against companies who had purchased the mortgage loans. Plaintiffs alleged that the lenders who made the loans violated the SMLL by failing to provide a disclosure form and by charging multiple closing fees, and argued that the purchasers of the loans should be liable for the lender’s violations. The Court of Appeals agreed with defendants that the lenders had not violated the SMLL. It held that the disclosure form was not required unless the mortgage loan is for commercial purposes, and that the charging of multiple loan origination fees does not violate the SMLL as long as the aggregate of the fees is within the statute’s 10% cap. The Court of Appeals also rejected plaintiffs’ claims that the purchasers of the loans could be liable for failing to provide loan documents to borrowers who requested them long after the loan had been paid off. Click here to read the opinion.
In a decision which represents a significant victory for developmentally disabled individuals throughout the State of Maryland, Cathey v. Board of Review, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, decided October 25, 2011, Maryland’s highest court agreed with Andy Baida that his client, a developmentally disabled adult who is the subject of an interstate custody arrangement, qualifies for Developmental Disability Administration (DDA) services during the time she lives with her father in this State. Rejecting the DDA’s argument that a developmentally disabled adult can be a resident of only one state, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that such an individual can have multiple residences and is eligible for DDA benefits under Maryland’s Developmental Disabilities Law, which is a remedial statute, while the individual “actually lives” in Maryland. Read more about the case in the front-page Daily Record article entitled "Disabled win in top court" by clicking here.
In a decision issued on April 7, 2011, William S. v. Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Court of Special Appeals agreed with Andy Baida and Caroline Hecker that their client, Howard County General Hospital, acted properly in hospitalizing an individual following an emergency psychiatric evaluation demonstrating that the individual met the statutory criteria for involuntary admission under the Health-General Article of the Maryland Code.
In Kraitchman v. Davis, decided March 21, 2011, Andy Baida and Caroline Hecker convinced the Court of Special Appeals to overturn the decisions of the Circuit Court for Talbot County and the Town of Oxford's Board of Zoning Appeals denying their client's objection to the grant of a special exception to build a residence on a non-conforming, undersized lot. Agreeing that the Board made no findings on the question whether the lot in question was grandfathered under the Town of Oxford Zoning Ordinance, the Court of Special Appeals held that the Board could not delegate this function to another agency, such as the Town Building Official or Town Commissioners, and that the administrative record was insufficient to support a finding that the lot could be grandfathered.
In D.R.D. Pool Service v. Freed, the Maryland Court of Appeals issued an opinion on September 24, 2010 agreeing with Andy Baida and Doug Furlong that a jury should decide whether a five-year-old boy, Connor Freed, experienced conscious pain and suffering before drowning in a Crofton Country Club pool. The Court of Appeals held that the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County erroneously concluded that there was no evidence that the child experienced any pain and suffering since no one saw the child drown. Citing expert testimony about the physical process that a healthy individual such as the child in this case experiences while drowning, the appellate court held that there was sufficient evidence for a jury to decide the extent to which the child suffered.
In Office of the Public Defender v. State, decided April 16, 2010, the Maryland Court of Appeals agreed with the position advanced by Andy Baida, who was retained as special counsel for the State of Maryland, by holding that a trial court has the authority to order the Public Defender to represent an indigent individual upon finding that the individual cannot afford a lawyer and that the Public Defender's previous indigency determination was erroneous. Andy was asked to represent the State of Maryland because the Public Defender's position in this case was supported by a formal opinion of the Office of the Maryland Attorney General expressing the view that a trial court may not order the Public Defender's Office to represent an individual it has deemed ineligible for representation. An article about the decision can be viewed here.
In Proctor v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, decided on March 12, 2010, Andy Baida successfully argued before the Maryland Court of Appeals that the Maryland Tort Claims Act's $200,000 damages limitation does not apply to a negligence claim filed against WMATA seeking $7 million in damages for catastrophic injuries which his client suffered as a result of being hit by a WMATA bus. An article from The Daily Record about this decision may be viewed here.
In Booth v. Shepard, Andy Baida successfully argued before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals that his client in this medical malpractice case was entitled to have a jury decide whether her health care providers breached the standard of care and caused the permanent injuries she suffered following their attempts to give her a regional nerve block. In a decision issued on September 3, 2009, the Court of Special Appeals vacated the judgment of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City and held that there was a sufficient factual basis from which a jury could conclude that the health care providers were negligent in excessively sedating the patient, thereby rendering her unable to warn them that they were about to inflict the nerve injury which she ultimately suffered when they injected a needle into her neck during the attempted block.
In Giordano v. Sherwood, decided on April 2, 2009, Andy Baida persuaded the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to overturn a $600,000 judgment that had been entered against his client, Dr. Joseph Giordano, on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury verdict that Dr. Giordano was negligent in performing a procedure known as a lumbar sympathectomy. Noting that negligence need not be proven with certainty, the Court of Appeals concluded that the jury verdict nevertheless could not be sustained because it was based on speculation and conjecture that the procedure failed to comply with the standard of care.
Olde Severna Park Improvement Association, Inc. v. Gunby. Andrew H. Baida successfully argued before the Court of Appeals of Maryland that his clients' ownership of waterfront property on the Severn River includes the riparian right to build a walkway and pier. The Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County had invalidated the homeowners' building permit on the ground that the Olde Severna Park Improvement Association rather than the homeowners owned the right to build improvements into the river. In a unanimous decision issued December 3, 2007, the Court of Appeals held that this case presented no exception to the settled rule that the conveyance of land adjacent to a body of water such as a river presumptively carries with it the grantor's riparian rights. The Court of Appeals' decision can be found here.
In Patton Boggs LLP v. Deveney, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on May 22, 2007 affirmed an arbitration award which Ben Rosenberg, Steve Wrobel, Andy Baida, and Jim Crossan successfully litigated and defended, requiring Patton Boggs LLP to pay two of its former partners $4.1 million, plus post-judgment interest in excess of $460,000. The award represented the former partners' share of more than $12.8 million in legal fees that Patton Boggs received from the settlement of claims filed against Pan American World Services and the government of Libya by the families of six crewmembers of Pan Am flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. After Patton Boggs refused to give the former partners their portion of the legal fees, the two attorneys retained Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, which won the case in arbitration, again in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, and once more in the Court of Special Appeals, with the result that Patton Boggs is required to pay the former partners their share of the collected fees and any future Pan Am 103 fees that Patton Boggs receives. An article from The Daily Record about this decision may be viewed here.
Swam v. Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, Inc., Court of Appeals of Maryland. Benjamin Rosenberg and Andrew H. Baida successfully persuaded the Court of Appeals, Maryland's highest court, to reverse the Circuit Court for Harford County and to order the reinstatement of their client's claims against the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center for injuries she sustained when she was stuck with an exposed, contaminated hypodermic needle while waiting for her father's surgery. The Circuit Court dismissed those claims on the ground that they were filed too late with the Circuit Court, even though they were timely filed with the Maryland Health Claims Arbitration Office. In a decision likely to have ramifications in a variety of other cases, the Court of Appeals held that filing the claim with the Health Claims Office tolled the running of the statute of limitations.