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Top 5: ‘I think that sends a loud and clear message’

A first-of-its-kind lawsuit over a bedbug infestation was decided in Baltimore this week, and state Sen. Ulysses Currie’s bribery trial continues. Those stories and more in this week’s legal affairs top 5.

1. Hopkins doc has made millions testifying for defense – Andy Marso

When lawyer William C. Hudson learned that State Farm wanted one of his clients to submit to a medical examination by Dr. David W. Buchholz last spring, he protested both the lack of advance notice and the choice of doctor.

Hudson’s client, Melody B. Southard, had been in a car accident with an underinsured motorist and was suing her insurance company in Baltimore City Circuit Court because of persistent headaches that her doctors had linked to the crash.

2. Bedbug suit has a $40K bite – by Danielle Ulman

Kristen Y. Saunders said it took managers of her apartment building 48 days to fumigate her apartment infested with bedbugs, leading to a plaintiff’s verdict in the first case of its type in Baltimore.

A Baltimore City Circuit Court jury awarded Saunders $40,000 in her negligence suit against the building’s owners and operators. The verdict came last week after a three-day trial.

3. Jury awards $2.4 million in sex abuse case – by Andy Marso

Lance McCoy took the witness stand for the second time in three years on Wednesday to relive the trauma of being sexually abused by a teacher and coach that he called “Pops”.

After little more than an hour of deliberation, a Baltimore City Circuit Court jury returned a $2.4 million verdict in favor of McCoy for assault, battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress — $1.8 million against McCoy’s mentor-turned-molester, Bryant Newmuis, and $600,000 against the local Amateur Athletic Union track team that hired Newmuis.

4. Jewish Times bankruptcy case extended – by Andy Marso

The parties involved in the Alter Communications bankruptcy case have been granted a 30-day extension to come together on a plan for post-Chapter 11 restructuring.

Judge James F. Schneider had given Alter — publisher of the Baltimore Jewish Times — and its former long-time printer, H.G. Roebuck & Son Inc., until Oct. 21 to reach a compromise after he denied both of their competing bankruptcy plans on Sept. 28.

5. Witnesses defend former Shoppers execs in Currie trial – by Steve Lash

Witnesses for two Shoppers Food Warehouse Corp. executives on Thursday called the pair honest, hard-working men whose contacts with state Sen. Ulysses S. Currie were above-board and fully documented in a valid consulting agreement.

But federal prosecutors, through cross-examination, got the witnesses to concede they lacked full knowledge of the working relationship among Currie, D-Prince George’s, former Shoppers President William J. White, and R. Kevin Small, Shoppers’ former vice president of real estate development.

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