Decision in Simms Calls Virginia “Horseplay Doctrine” Into Question

September 2009 | By Kathryn Lea Harman

On July 28, 2009, the Virginia office of Semmes won an appellate decision in Simms v. Ruby Tuesday, Inc., that could spell the end of the "horseplay doctrine" in Virginia Workers' Compensation cases. Prior to Simms, the question in claims brought by employees injured by other employees was whether the injured employee was a participant in or an innocent victim of horseplay. A claimant able…

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Good Faith Statute Requires Insurers to Make Informed Judgments as to Insurance Coverage Prior to Denying Claims

August 2009

Maryland's good faith statute now provides insureds with a right to file first-party claims against insurers for failure to act in good faith. Md. Code. Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1701. Specifically, the good faith statute provides that if the plaintiff in action seeking "to determine coverage that exists under [an] insurance policy," can show that "the insurer failed to act in good faith"…

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Fraudulent Foreign Death Claims Present Challenges to Life Insurers

February 2007

For some years, the life insurance industry has dealt with the question of whether death claims originating in underdeveloped, tumultuous regions of the world were legitimate or fraudulent. These claims continue to present real challenges to insurers. This article reviews the case law addressing death claims originating in foreign countries and analyzes the evidentiary concerns involved.

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Planning for the Family Vacation Home

January 2007

One of the most difficult assets to plan for is the family vacation home. For many families, the vacation home is an important center of annual family activity, with multiple generations of family becoming emotionally invested in the property. If the property is located in a desirable area, it's value can often grow larger than any other single family asset. Once the eldest generation passes…

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Medical Fee Guide Revised

October 2006

One of the most effective methods in Maryland for controlling workers' compensation costs is use of the Medical Fee Guide to limit payments for non-hospital medical treatment. The Maryland Workers' Compensation has worked to find the proper balance between providing injured workers with quality medical care, controlling medical costs for employers and insurers, and providing medical care practitioners with a reasonable financial incentive in order…

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