Lois K. Ottombrino Senior Counsel





  • Maryland Court of Appeals Upholds the Frye-Reed “General Acceptance” Test for Admissibility of Expert Testimony

    MD Court Upholds Frye-Reed Test for Admissibility

    October 23, 2013

    Maryland Court of Appeals Upholds the Frye-Reed “General Acceptance” Test for Admissibility of Expert Testimony

    Trial courts could view the recent decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals as a convincing directive to deny admission of an expert’s testimony based on the mere existence of scientific or medical literature stating an opposing proposition, especially when the expert is the author of that literature. This finding will be particularly relevant in cases where parties seek to introduce expert opinions regarding novel or experimental procedures and techniques.

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Imposes $1.2 Million Penalty For Protected Health Information Breach Involving Leased Copiers

    HIPAA Breach Involving Leased Copiers leads to Fines for NYC Health Plan

    August 22, 2013

    Under a settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Affinity Health Plan, Inc. (“Affinity”), a not-for profit managed care plan serving the greater New York City area, will pay more than $1.2 million in penalties for its violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) Privacy and Security Rules relating to its failure to properly safeguard PHI stored on its photocopier hard drives.

  • Maryland’s Highest Court Rules It Would Be Contrary to Legislative Mandates for the Maryland Judiciary to Abrogate the Contributory Negligence Doctrine

    Fault Allocation in Maryland Remains Undisturbed

    July 31, 2013

    On July 9, 2013, the Court of Appeals of Maryland upheld the long-standing contributory negligence doctrine. If Maryland were to transition to a comparative fault system, several statutory provisions would need to be changed, along with many statutes that refer to or hinge on contributory negligence. The judiciary cannot repeal or amend these statutes; hence, the court has agreed that the task is best left to the legislature.

  • Illinois strikes down verdict caps

    February 2010

    On February 4, 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court, by a 4-2 ruling, invalidated an Illinois statute which established caps on the amount of non-economic damages such as; pain, disfigurement and loss of consortium, that can be recovered in medical malpractice actions.  In reaching its determination in Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (Ill. Supreme Court Docket Nos. 105741, 105745), the court determined that the statute violated the separation of power provisions stated in the Illinois Constitution by nullifying the court's inherent power to correct excessive jury awards.