The overturning of a lead-paint verdict that stated the process of seizing a city agency’s vehicles tops the list of most-read legal affairs stories of the week. The list also includes a lawsuit filed by security guards who allege they were fired because of their accents, a look at what role Maryland’s highest court will most likely play in determining the state’s legislative map and a beef between two hamburger joints.
The Top 5 stories are:
1. Lead-paint verdict against HABC overturned on appeal — by Melody Simmons
The $2.5 million lead-paint verdict that spurred a move to seize and auction vehicles owned by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City was reversed on appeal Thursday afternoon.
A Baltimore County Circuit Court jury on Thursday awarded $1 million in damages to a woman who lost nearly all her vision while under an ophthalmologist’s care.
The jury’s verdict came nearly seven years after Earlene Burnside first brought the lawsuit with her husband, Johnny. He died during the course of the litigation, which included a ruling by Maryland’s top court on a procedural motion.
“What a long road it is to a final day of getting your day in court,” said Matthew P. Maloney, the Kensington solo practitioner who represented Earlene Burnside.
3. Top court’s last decision shows where to draw the line on redistricting — by Steve Lash
If the past is indeed prologue, Maryland’s top court will soon be asked to strike down the state’s newest legislative-district map — and the Maryland Court of Appeals will be constitutionally bound to consider the challenge.
All it takes to compel the high court to hear the case is a petition brought by a registered voter, any registered voter, in the state.
4. Grab-N-Go Burgers agrees to change logo to end In-N-Out suit — by Steve Lash
An Aberdeen hamburger joint will change its red-white-and-yellow logo under a tentative settlement with In-N-Out Burger, the West Coast restaurant chain that was suing it for trademark infringement in federal court in Baltimore.
In-N-Out claimed that customers visiting Grab-N-Go Burgers, located in an Aberdeen strip mall, could be confused or misled to believe it is related to or endorsed in some way by In-N-Out. The Irvine, Calif.-based company — whose closest location is in Texas — sought a permanent injunction and unspecified damages in the suit filed last year in U.S. District Court.
5. Suit: Security guards were fired for accents — by Ben Mook
Two former security guards are seeking $100,000 and their jobs back from the company they say fired them because they spoke English with an accent.
Serge N. Wandja and Nabie Cham filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt against their former employer, the security firm MVM Inc., of Ashford, Va. Wandja and Cham worked for MVM at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. In January 2009, they were fired for failing an English proficiency exam despite having worked for the firm for several years.