Specific Environmental Issues

The Maryland Court of Appeals has affirmed a decsion of the Court of Special Appeals ruling that certain expert testimony is not admissible to support medical clams arising from exposure to mold and other environmental byproducts of damp buildings. Such claims are often supported by a medical analysis known as “differential diagnosis” and sometimes referred to as “repetitive exposure protocol, ” which as been used by physicians to attribute various medical symptoms to inhalation of mold in water-damaged buildings. Rather than demonstrating a specific exposure to a specific mold resulting in a specific reaction, differential diagnosis uses a process that “rules out” or “rules in” possible causes of symptoms a patient is experiencing to determine that their symptoms are related to exposure to mold. Differential diagnosis has been frequently used to show an association between exposure to mold in wet buildings and certain human health effects. In its opinion in the case of Montgomery Mutual Insurance Co. v. Chesson, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals held that this method is not sufficiently accepted in the scientific community so as to be used as a basis for medical testimony in mold cases. The Court of Special Appeals reversed a trial court ruling that found such medical testimony to be reliable and admissible. Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, has now affirmed the Court of Special Appeals decision. Chesson v. Montgomery Mutual Insurance Co., Case No. 97, Sept. Term 2012. (more…)

The Maryland Court of Appeals has granted a petition for certiorari and agreed to hear an appeal from a decsion of the Court of Special Appeals ruling that certain expert testimony is not admissible to support medical clams arising from exposure to mold and other environmental byproducts of damp buildings. (more…)

Ober|Kaler Construction Group principal Raymond D. Burke and associates Mathew T. Vocci and Jackson B. Boyd secured judicial confirmation earlier this year in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City of a significant arbitration award on behalf of the owner of a penthouse condominium unit located at 100 Harborview Drive in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The Circuit Court’s confirmation of the $1, 252, 487 arbitration award resulted in what is believed to be Maryland’s largest judgment against a condominium council of unit owners for its failure to maintain, repair, and replace the common elements of a condominium building (in this case, the roof system, exterior façade, and HVAC ductwork of a 27-story high-rise). The Circuit Court also confirmed the arbitration award’s order of specific performance, which requires the condominium’s council of unit owners to replace the building’s roof system, repair its exterior façade, clean its HVAC ductwork, and insulate its rooftop exterior HVAC ductwork. The value of the work required by the specific performance order is approximately $6 million. (more…)

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