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Appeals Cases

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Here are some recent and important appeals decisions that Mr. Frye has been involved with throughout his career:

Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London v. Cohen, 785 F.2d 886 (4th Cir.) 2015. This case involves very large, high-risk disability policies issued to a surgeon. When the surgeon suffered an injury, a claim was made against the policies. The Underwriters denied coverage, claiming that the doctor lied on his application for insurance. The Fourth Circuit held in favor of the Doctor, finding that the questions asked were ambiguous, general, and subject to multiple interpretation. This case clarified a large schism between decision. A careful reading of the decisions in the Federal District court seemed to be much more favorable to the insurance companies than the Maryland cases the Federal Court was interpreting This case goes a long way to bringing back a more favorable and lenient veiw to interpreting insurance policies in favor of the insured.

This case also is the leading and groundbreaking decision interpreting the annotated code of Maryland's Health General Article, section 14-410. It is the only known appelant-level decision finding that consent orders entered into between a doctor and the Maryland Board of Physicians cannot be admitted into evidence under any circumstances unless the doctor specifically agrees and the board consents. This is true even if the order suspends the doctor's license.



Here are some of the recent and important decisions that Mr. Frye has been involved with throughout his career:

Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London v. Cohen, 785 F.2d 886 (4th Cir.) 2015.  This case involves very large, high-risk disability policies issued to a surgeon.  When the surgeon suffered an injury, a claim was made against the policies.  The Underwriters denied coverage, claiming that the doctor lied on his application for insurance. The Fourth Circuit held in favor of the Doctor, finding that the questions asked were ambiguous, general, and subject to multiple interpretation. This case clarified a large schism between Maryland's own interpretations of its case law and how the Federal District Court in Maryland interpreted previous cases. This case is very favorable for the person seeking insurance, as it requires the insurance companies to ask clear and specific questions, and recognizes that there are good faith differences in interpretations of even plain words.

This case also serves as a groundbreaking decision interpreting the annotated code of Maryland's Health General Article, section 14-410. No appellant court had ever addressed whether a suspension order entered by the Maryland Board of Physicians could be used to prove that a Physician was suspended or under probation. This case reversed the lower court's ruling that the Order could be used, and found that the language of the statute clearly states that the Order cannot be used.

Hayes v. Pratchett, 205 Md.App. 459 (2012). This case stands for the simple yet important concept that a supervisor that injures an employee when not performing supervisory tasks is subject to suit for those injuries. The supervisor is immune only if he is performing a supervisory duty.

Crews v. Hollenbach, 358 Md. 627 (2000). In this case, a writ of certiori was granted by the Court of Appeals in Maryland to review the Court of Special Appeals decision in Crews v. Hollenbach, 126 Md.App. 609 (1999). These cases deal with the issues of assumption of the risk and the "Police and Fireman"s Rule." The cases involve a natural gas employee who was badly burned when a cable contractor hit a gas line, which and led to an explosion when the line was being repaired. The Court found rightly that Mr. Crews was not subject to the "Police and Fireman's Rule" which makes people who accidently create a dangerous situation immune from liability to a policeman or fireman who comes to their rescue. However, the court did find that Mr. Crews assumed the risk of injury by entering into an area where there was a known gas leak. Given that someone had to enter into the area to stop the leak, holding the person who stops the leak as assumign the risk makes little sense. This case is likely to have a different outcome with recent changes in the law making people who fail to use Miss Utility liable for the injuries they create.

White v. Sances, 5 Fed.Appx. 271 (2001). This case examines whether an expert may be sued by the party who hired them for litigation when the expert makes him or herself unavailable and prejudices the party's case.


Unreported Opinions

Unreported opinions are appeals where there is a decision does not have precedential value, but are very important to the client because it decides their case. These opinions are important in that they give insight into what the court was thinking, even if not binding for later decisions. They are not published in the Reporter.

Recent unpublished decisions won by Mr. Frye include:

WMATA v. Holloman, No. 715, CSA (2012). This case discusses the amount of proof necessary to admit evidence of lost wages into evidence. Of most note, the Court seems to imply that proof of injury for neck and back injuries may not require expert testimony at all.

Wrigley v. Pratchett, et. al. CSA (2010). This case overturned an unfavorable verdict when the trial court gave an improper instruction and informed the jury that auto accidents can be caused without fault. The instruction was held to be improper and a new trial granted.



The law offices of Erik D. Frye, P.A., represents clients in injury, workers' compensation and insurance litigation matters throughout southern Maryland and surrounding areas. This includes those in Prince George's County, Charles County, Calvert County and Montgomery County, as well as the cities of Upper Marlboro, Brandywine, Largo, Clinton, District Heights, Bowie, Crofton, Mitchellville, Greenbelt and Camp Springs.

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