Coverage action decided by jury in Bud’s client favor (after three interlocutory appeals)
In a case that generated three appeals and a reported decision, a Montgomery County jury found in Bud’s client’s favor and judgment was entered in favor of the carrier. The coverage issue arose from claims for damage to alleged collectibles, historic papers and photographs due to a sewage back-up for which coverage was sought under a homeowner’s policy. The policyholder had allegedly incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in freeze drying, fumigation and other alleged preservation efforts and storage charges. The jury found that the insurance company had not breached the contract.
Jury returns a defense verdict for insurer in Underinsured Motorist case
A Baltimore County jury found in favor of the Underinsured Motorist insurer in a damages only trial. Plaintiff had already secured a policy limits settlement from the tortfeasor’s carrier, but the jury returned a verdict more than $30,000.00 less than the settlement amount, and thus judgment for Bud’s insurance carrier was entered on the UIM claim.
Bud proves products liability case against Broan-Nutone in household bathroom fan fire jury trial
A Circuit Court for Montgomery County jury found in favor of Bud’s client in and held that the bathroom exhaust fan manufactured by Broan-Nutone caused a major house fire. Defendant attempted to blame the fire on a bathroom waste basket, claiming its product could not sustain combustion, but extensive origin and cause and electrical engineering expert testimony established that the house burned due to a defective product manufactured and supplied by Broan-Nutone.
Property Developer prevails in commercial property breach of contract trial
A Frederick County jury found in favor of Bud’s client, a developer trying to create a senior citizen project, in a case wherein the contract was executed in 2002. The parties each claimed that the other breached the contract, and the issue was tried before a jury. The jury found that the sellers breached the contract.
Bud obtains judgment for paving contractor at close of jury trial in trip and fall lawsuit
An asphalt and paving contractor was sued when a shopper tripped and fell while walking to a Home Depot, claiming that inadequate guards or warnings were in place. The case was tried before a Circuit Court for Baltimore County jury, but Bud successfully moved for judgment at the close of the presentation of the evidence. The Court granted the motion, dismissing the action against Bud’s client.
Not only was the proof of any negligence by the contractor lacking, but the plaintiff’s election to cross an ongoing construction area was deemed to bar her action.
One of the leading cases in Maryland on the doctrine of assumption of the risk, ADM v. Martin, was successfully argued by Bud in 1997. The case is referenced in the Reported Decisions section of the website.
Judgment secured in electrocution case for Bud’s commercial property management client
Bud successfully moved for judgment on the second day of a trial against his client, a commercial property manager, who had been sued when a construction worker was electrocuted while working on HVAC equipment at a dental office. The plaintiff (who survived) was shocked when his arm contacted energized equipment, and presented his case against Bud’s client and a co-defendant to a Montgomery County jury.
At the close of the plaintiff’s case, Bud persuaded the court to enter judgment in his client’s favor, and thus the case against the property manager was dismissed.
Judgment obtained in favor of General Contractor in water damage lawsuit
Bud successfully moved for summary judgment on behalf of his client, the general contractor, in a lawsuit wherein the builder was sued for allegedly causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of water damage. The plaintiffs claimed that negligent construction practices and/or supervision of the subcontractors resulted in water loss.
Bud obtains defense verdict for shopping center owner in alleged $6 million brain injury case
At the conclusion of a fiercely contested two week trial (on the issue of liability only), the jury returned a verdict in favor of the owners of a shopping center who were sued for alleging causing severe and permanent brain injuries to a pedestrian who claimed he tripped in the parking lot. The case included the testimony of accident reconstruction experts, as the plaintiff claimed amnesia and thus did not describe the accident.
The Montgomery County jury returned a verdict in Bud’s client’s favor after hearing testimony from almost twenty witnesses on the issue of fault only (the trial was bifurcated—an additional two weeks of damages testimony was thus avoided).
DRI awards Exceptional Performance Citation to Edward J. Brown
The Defense Research Institute (DRI), the international membership organization of all lawyers involved in the defense of civil litigation, honored Bud with an Exceptional Performance Citation. The award capped off Bud’s year as President of the Maryland Defense Counsel.
Bud obtains jury verdict in favor of electrical contractor alleged to have caused house fire
A fire broke out in a home while an electrician was working on the panel box. Despite the plaintiffs and their experts’ insistence that the ongoing work must have been the cause, Bud proved that an undiscoverable wiring issue that had previously been present in the house was the actual cause of the fire. The jury concluded that the substantial damages arising from the fire were not the responsibility of Bud’s client, a small electrical contractor who was being sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Declaratory judgment obtained in coverage trial in favor of insurer
The Circuit Court of Prince George’s County found in Bud’s client’s favor in an insurance coverage lawsuit. The insurance dispute arose from a tragic fire, which lead to a separate wrongful death lawsuit. As the issue of coverage for the Defendants in the wrongful death suit would not be resolved by the outcome of that case, Bud instituted a declaratory judgment lawsuit, and ultimately established that the insurance company who issued the homeowners policy did not owe coverage for claims at issue in the tort suit.
Maryland Defense Counsel hosts DRI Atlantic Regional Meeting
Bud’s term as President of the MDC was capped off when Maryland enjoyed the honor and the privilege of hosting the DRI Atlantic Regional Meeting. Representatives of the State Law Defense Organizations from Virginia, DC, South Carolina and North Carolina attended the meeting, which included presentations on social media issues from guest presenters the Honorable Michelle Ottun and the Honorable Dennis Sweeney.
Jury Awards $7.5 Million Dollars to Bud’s client in a products liability/construction site accident case
In one of the largest personal injury awards of the year, Bud’s client was awarded $7.5 million dollars following at the conclusion of two and a half week trial in the Circuit Court for Montgomery Court. The firm represented Mario Garcia against Siemens Inc., as a result of a construction site accident that left Mr. Garcia with near-fatal burn injuries to over 60% of his body. Mr. Garcia was injured when he fired a pin into a Siemens buss duct, and the key allegation focused on the absence of suitable warnings on the underside of the electrical equipment.
The case and trial were featured in the Daily Record (the full article is reprinted in the Articles Section of the website).
Bud Brown elected President of the Maryland Defense Counsel
In June of 2009, Bud was elected to the post of President of the Maryland Defense Counsel, the statewide bar association which fosters the interests of various defense concerns in Maryland.
The Maryland Defense Counsel endeavors to attain equal justice for all, improve Maryland’s courts and laws, and strengthen the defense of civil lawsuits through political activism, judicial candidate interviews, and educational conferences.
Maryland Defense Counsel hosts Leadership Conference
Bud’s term as President Elect of the Maryland Defense Counsel was capped off with the association’s well-received Leadership Conference. The MDC brought together leading Maryland judges and lawyers for a Leadership Conference. The Honorable Lynne A. Battaglia of the Maryland Court of Appeals presented the history of women lawyers in Maryland. Afterwards she was joined by a panel of leading Maryland judges and lawyers including The Honorable Pamela White, Neal M. Brown, Esquire, Andrea Leahy-Fucheck, Esquire, and Jennifer S. Lubinski, Esquire, who discussed career growth, gaining and maintaining visibility, developing mentoring relationships, strategies for practice development, and the importance of developing leadership skills, particularly for women.
Federal Court jury returns verdict in Bud’s client favor in multi-million Georgetown fire lawsuit
A relatively short-lived dishwasher fire caused millions of dollars of damage at a mansion in Georgetown, including damage to various items of fine art, antiques and other valuables. Bud’s client was the last known person to have worked upon the dishwasher, in a case wherein the characters resembled a real life version of the board game Clue®.
Following a two week trial in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the jury found in favor of Bud’s client. In a case involving extensive expert testimony and numerous origin and cause, engineering and forensic experts, the jury did not believe that the work of Bud’s client, an experienced service company, was the cause of the blaze.
Maryland Defense Counsel wins DRI Diversity Award
Congratulations and kudos to the Maryland Defense Counsel, and Past-President Dan Moylan and then current President Kathleen Bustraan. The MDC was awarded the DRI State Law Defense Organization Diversity Award. The organization was lauded for its efforts to promote diversity, including the Great Strides, Great Struggles: The Continuing Case for Diversity 70 Years after Murray Symposium (See May 2008 News, below).
FEDERAL JURY AWARDS $367,000 FOLLOWING FOUR DAY JURY TRIAL
On June 6, 2008, Bud obtained a verdict in excess of $367,000 for his client, a pedestrian who was permanently injured when struck while crossing Dixon Street near Bonifant Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. The pedestrian was hit by a Ride-On bus, yet the Defendant claimed she was contributorily negligent, and further challenged the causal connection and extent of her injuries, including her need to move to a more sedentary job position within the company she helped to build.
The United States District Court jury found in Bud's client's favor, holding the bus driver solely responsible for the accident and awarding $250,000 for pain and suffering and $90,000 for future loss of earnings (i.e. compensation for the change in position until retirement age, due to the injuries). Defendants only offered Bud's client $75,000 prior to trial. United States Magistrate Judge Jillyn Schultze presided over the four day trial, which was conducted in the Southern Division in Greenbelt, Maryland.
BUD ELECTED TO PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE MARYLAND DEFENSE COUNSEL
On June 4, 2008, Bud was honored by his peers on the Maryland Defense Counsel, the state wide bar organization which promotes the interests of Maryland’s civil defense litigators, by being elected to the post of President-Elect. Bud had previously served as Treasurer and Secretary, and will now serve as the President-Elect throughout the one year term of newly elected President Kathleen Bustraan, Esq.
In addition to serving as President-Elect, Bud will continue to serve as Co-Chair of the MDC’s Task Force on the Absence of Good Faith Laws. The Task Force's goals include tracking and monitoring the decisions, discovery rulings, and penalties related to the new legislation concerning first party insurance claims in Maryland.
Maryland Defense Counsel hosts Diversity Symposium
Bud’s term as Secretary of the Maryland Defense Counsel was capped off with the association’s stellar symposium, Great Strides, Great Struggles: The Continuing Case for Diversity 70 Years after Murray . In its continuing commitment to diversity, the MDC hosted the symposium at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in May 2008. Scholars, trailblazers, and prominent members of the community discussed the history of equality in Maryland, the demand for diversity, and issues in hiring and retention. The keynote address was delivered by Juan Williams, NPR Senior Correspondent, Morning Edition, and critically acclaimed author of Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary and Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965.
“ABSENCE OF GOOD” FAITH SEMINAR PRESENTED TO THE MARYLAND STATE BAR LITIGATION/YLS SECTIONS
On March 20, 2008, pursuant to the invitation of the MSBA Litigation and Young Lawyer Sections, Bud gave a presentation on the new Absence of Good Faith Laws. The seminar was conducted in a point/counterpoint mode, with Bud voicing the insurer’s point of view on the issues which have arisen and/or are expected to be litigated before the Maryland Insurance Administration and the Courts.
The presentation was hosted by Gore Brothers Court Reporting, and a copy of the webcast can be viewed by clicking here.