Archive for the ‘Maryland’ Category

Dealing with Cerebral Palsy: A Resource for Parents and Family (Part II)

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

In Part I of this series I provided a basic introduction to dealing with cerebral palsy.  I also provided Maryland parents with a comprehensive list of places that are able to assist parents.  Today I will discuss educating children with cerebral palsy and, as always, I will provide you with a list of places to turn if you need help.

Educating your child

The thought of educating any child is a daunting topic.  Educating your special needs child can present a variety of challenges and pitfalls.  It is unlikely that any singular blog post could ever cover every facet of educating your special needs child.  What I can do, however, is provide you with an introduction to the topic, its terminology, and finally give you a list of resources that you can turn to for additional help.

As we introduced last week, children that have special needs that impact his/her ability to learn at school often qualify for an Individual Education Plan.  An IEP is a legal document created to ensure your child’s teacher, staff and administration understands his learning and other limitations and utilizes the best practices to ensure that he gets the education that he/she deserves.  An IEP is federally funded and falls under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or “IDEA.” IDEA entitles your child to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) designed “to meet unique needs and prepare for employment and independent living” (20 U.S.C.A. 1400(d)(1)(A)).  Just as every child is different, every child’s IEP should be different.  Here are some of the accommodations that can be included in your child’s IEP:

-classroom accommodations, e.g. special table

-curriculum modification

-speech and/or occupational therapy

Be forewarned, anecdotally, many parents have reported that obtaining an IEP for their child has been difficult.  Be not dismayed, a document binding the school to provide your child with the specialized attention that he/she needs is invaluable.  Please utilize the resources listed below to assist you in getting all necessary help for your child.

When it has been determined that your child has a mental or physical disability that impairs his learning, the school will set up an IEP meeting. An IEP team is formed and includes:

-Your child

-Parent or guardian

-A district representative

-A special educator

-Other teachers who will be involved in your child’s education

You and the IEP team will meet to discuss your child’s specific needs and goals for the school year. Steps will be outlined as to how your child will be accommodated each day in the classroom. A progress report should then be sent to you periodically to demonstrate that your child is indeed meeting her IEP learning goals.

Lastly, keep in mind that if your child does not qualify for an IEP, he/she may qualify for a 504 Plan, a document legislated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 504 Plans are less specific than an IEP and, unfortunately, do not have the legal teeth that an IEP has. Another alternative is to try to qualify your child for an Other Health Impaired (OHI) plan. An OHI is like a “last resort” document for kids who are denied a 504 Plan or an IEP. Essentially, OHI status was created to satisfy parents who insist that their child needs documented assistance in school.

Not sure where to turn?  Below is the up-to-date contact information for agencies in the District of Columbia and Maryland that can assist you.

Parental Support:

UCP of Washington DC & Northern Virginia
1818 New York Avenue, NE, Suite 101
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 526-0146
Fax: (202) 526-0519
3135 8th Street NE
Washington DC 20017
Phone: (202) 269-1500
Fax: (202) 526-0159
E-mail: webmaster@ucpdc.org
Web: http://www.ucpdc.org

Office on Aging
441 4th Street, NW, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 676-3900

Regional ADA Technical Assistance Agency
ADA and IT Information Center for the Mid Atlantic Region
451 Hungerford Drive, Suite 607
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: (301) 217-0124 (V/TTY); (800) 949-4232 (V/TTY/Toll Free)
E-mail: adainfo@transcen.org
Web: http://www.adainfo.org

Capitol Area ADAPT
Marcie Roth
Phone: (410) 828-8274; (410) 821-1157
Fax: (410) 828-6706
E-mail: marcie@erols.com

The Cerebral Palsy Ability Center (CPAC)
2445 Army-Navy Drive, 3rd Floor
Arlington, VA 22206
Phone: (703) 920-0600
Fax: (703) 685-2819
E-mail: cpac@cpabilitycenter.org
Web: http://www.cpabilitycenter.org

State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council
DC Developmental Disabilities Council
Department of Human Services/801 East Building
2700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20032
Phone: (202) 279-6085
Web: http://www.dc.gov/agencies

Easter Seal Society for Disabled Children & Adults, Inc.
Metro. DC, Northern VA, & MD
4041 Powder Mill Road
Calverton, MD 20705
Phone: (301) 931-8700; (800) 886-3771 (Toll Free)
Fax: (301) 931-8690
Web: http://www.nca-md.easter-seals.org

Goodwill Industries Greater Washington
2200 South Dakota Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20018
Phone: (202) 636-4225
Fax: (202) 526-3994
E-mail: dmgi@dcgoodwill.org
Web: http://www.dcgoodwill.org

Family Voices Washington DC
Gail Johnson
Phone: (301) 470-0256

Programs for Children with Special Health Care Needs
Health Services for Children with Special Needs Clinic
D.C. General Hospital, Building 10
19th & Massachusetts Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
Phone: (202) 675-5214

CHIP Program (health care for low-income uninsured children)
DC Healthy Families Insurance Program
4601 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: (888) 557-1116 (Toll Free)
Web: http://www.dchealth.dc.gov

Learning Disabilities Association of Washington, DC
1848 Columbia Road, NW, #45
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 265-8869; (410) 396-0518

The Arc of the District of Columbia, Inc.
900 Varnum Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017
Phone: (202) 636-2950
Web: www.arcdc.net

Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute
801 Buchanan Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20017
Phone: (202) 281-2774
E-mail: mward@kennedyinstitute.org

State Mental Retardation Program
Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities Administration
Commission on Social Services
Department of Human Services
429 O Street, N.W., #202
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 673-7678
TTY: (202) 673-3580

American Association on Mental Retardation
444 North Capitol Street NW, #846
Washington DC 20001
Phone: (202) 387-1968; (800) 424-3688 (Toll Free)
Fax: (202) 387-2193
Web: http://www.AAMR.org

Programs for Children and Youth who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Visual Impairment Unit
DC Rehabilitation Services Administration
810 1st Street, N.E., 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 442-8628

Special Format Library
District of Columbia Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
901 G Street, N.W., Room 215
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 727-2142
TTY: (202) 727-2145
E-mail: dc1alyons@hotmail.com
Web: http://dclibrary.org/lbph

American Foundation for the Blind
11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 502-7600
TTY: (212) 502-7662
E-mail: afbinfo@afb.org
Web: http://www.afb.org

DC Early Intervention Program
717 14th Street, N.W., Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 727-5371

Mayor’s Committee on Persons with Disabilities
810 First Street, NE
Room 10015
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 442-8673
Fax: (202) 442-8742

D.C. Vocational Rehabilitation Agency
Rehabilitation Services Administration
Department of Human Services
810 First Street, NE, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 442-8663

State Job Training Partnership Act
Department of Employment Services
500 C Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 724-7100

Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
D.C. Congress of Parents and Teachers
Hamilton School
6th Street & Brentwood Parkway, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 543-0333
Fax: (202) 543-4306
E-mail: dc_pres@pta.org

The National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE)
P.O. Box 39
1201 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 822-8405
Fax: (202) 822-4050
E-mail: ferguson@ncea.com
Web: http://www.NCPIE.org

Parents’ Special Education Service Center
Phone: (202) 471-4272
E-mail: parenttips@shs.net

Special Olympics District of Columbia
900 2nd Street, N.E., Suite 200
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 408-2640
Fax: (202) 408-2646
Web: http://www.specialolympicsdc.org

Nation’s Capital Handicapped Sports
P.O. Box 1546
Olney, MD 20830-1546
Phone/Fax: (301) 208-8949

Washington D.C. Education Resources:

Chief State School Officer
District of Columbia Public Schools
The Presidential Building
415 12th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 724-4222
Fax: (202) 724-8855
Web: http://www.k12.dc.us

Office of State Coordinator of Vocational Education for Students with Disabilities
Vocational Transition Services Unit
Walker Jones Elementary School
1st and K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 724-3878

State Department of Adult Education
Public Schools Vocational and Adult Education
1709 3rd Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 576-6308
Fax: (202) 576-7899
E-mail: NRC%bell@mercury.k12.dc.us

Department of Education: Special Education
Division of Special Education
DC Public Schools
825 North Capitol Street, N.E., Suite 6100
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 442-4800
Web: http://www.k12.dc.us

State Coordinator for NCLB (No Child Left Behind)
Division of Special Education
DC Public Schools
825 North Capitol Street, N.E., 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 442-4800
Web: http://www.k12.dc.us

Branch of Exceptional Education/BIA
Mail Stop 3512, MIB Code 523
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 202040-4000
Phone: (202) 208-4975
Fax: (202) 273-0030

Maryland Education Resources:

STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: SPECIAL EDUCATION
Carol Ann Baglin, Assistant State Superintendent
Department of Education, Division of Special Education
Early Intervention Services
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-2595
(410) 767-0238
E-mail: cbaglin@msde.state.md.us
Web: www.msde.state.md.us

Query:  Have you obtained an IEP for your child?  Did you have any opposition from your child’s teachers or school administrators?

Sneak Peek:  Next week (Part III of this series) we will provide Educational Resources for Parents in Maryland and present critical medical information that parents of CP children need to be aware of.

Week in Review: (May 29 – June 4, 2001) Eye Opener Health, Law and Medicine Blog

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

From the Editor:

We didn’t get to post as many blogs as usual this past week due to the simple fact that our lawyers/blawgers were spread around the country doing depositions and meetings, in court and getting ready for some major trials coming up very soon.

Sometimes the real practice of law (which is what we do when we’re not on WordPress blawging away) just gets in the way (read – big smiley face).

Brian Nash

 

Here’s what our blawgers wrote this past week. We hope you enjoy! Oh – thanks for stopping by too.

Summer Vacation Checklist: Add Vaccination to Your List

By: Theresa Neumann

Ahhh, summer vacation is coming. Passport? Airline tickets? Three 1oz containers? Zipper-lock bag? Sunblock? Camera? Vaccination status?

Summer is typically the busiest time for vacationers to explore new territories, or even old ones. Granted, the economy has replaced some travelers’ grand plans with much more modest ones, but many are still planning trips to Mexico and other foreign destinations. The summer is also a big time for missionary groups to head to under-served areas to provide assistance and medical care. The events of September 11th have forever changed travel for the United States and countries all over the world. There is now a new concern…..your vaccination status! Read more

The Grief of Losing an Unborn Child

By: Mike Sanders

For parents who have lost an unborn child, the sense of grief is no different than if the child had been born and then died. Unfortunately, our society seems less sympathetic to the loss because there is no infant that we have seen and gotten to know. We all recognize the agony of losing an older child. Even if we haven’t experienced it ourselves, we can at least try to understand how sickeningly awful it must be. We can then offer our support and love and condolences to those who have experienced it. With an unborn child, however, it’s different. We have a tendency to minimize the grief associated with losing an unborn child, as if the fact that the child wasn’t yet born makes him or her less real. Even medical providers are guilty of this. I’ve had women tell me that their doctors tend to treat miscarriage or stillbirth as a medical condition, not the loss of a loved one. For the parents of such children, however, the loss is deep and real and long-lasting. Read more

Legal Boot Camp: The Story of Mark and Susan – Common Law Marriage in Maryland

By: Jason Penn

Mark and Susan had been living together in a small apartment in Baltimore for 12 years. Both of their names were on the lease and they share a used car to commute back and forth to their jobs. Both names appeared on the utility bills and although they never had an actual “ceremony,” they always considered themselves to be husband and wife. Mark and Susan always assumed that the state of Maryland would consider their relationship to be a “common law marriage.” Ten months ago, Susan began experiencing unfamiliar stomach pains. Her doctor assured her that she was fine and that no follow-up examinations were necessary. Six months ago, Susan was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Tragically, Susan died last week. Mark is certain that Susan was the victim of medical malpractice and wants to file an action for medical malpractice. Mark is now concerned that his common law marriage might not be valid.  Is it? Read more

Home Births: Increasingly Popular But Are They Safe?

By: Sarah Keogh

Many little girls grow up fantasizing about what they want to be when they grow up; perhaps they want to be the President, or an artist, or a doctor, or an architect. Others might be daydreaming about being a princess or an astronaut. However, I do not know of many little girls who grow up dreaming about how they would like to bring a child into this world. Yet once these girls grow up into adults, many of them feel strongly about having a birth plan that is just as magical as all of their other dreams. Images of a comfortable labor or a display of womanly strength may play a role; perhaps they want music or a particular image available to them. Some want as few interventions as possible, while others would prefer an epidural at the hospital door. No matter what vision of childbirth a woman has, the desired end result is almost universally a healthy child. Read more ….

Sneak Peak of the Week Ahead

  • Two Sessions (yes, it’s almost summer) of our Legal Boot Camp Series –
  • Parents of children with Cerebral Palsy – Part II
  • Loss of Consortium – some things about this claim you need to understand
  • ….AND even more….

Have a Great Weekend, Everyone!

Legal Boot Camp (Second Class): The Story of Mark and Susan– Common Law Marriage in Maryland

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

From the Editor – Please see our disclaimer at the end of this blog for a better understanding of the limitations of this series and our mission statement. Brian Nash

Their Story

Mark and Susan had been living together in a small apartment in Baltimore for 12 years. Both of their names were on the lease and they share a used car to commute back and forth to their jobs. Both names appeared on the utility bills and although they never had an actual “ceremony,” they always considered themselves to be husband and wife. Mark and Susan always assumed that the state of Maryland would consider their relationship to be a “common law marriage.” Ten months ago, Susan began experiencing unfamiliar stomach pains. Her doctor assured her that she was fine and that no follow-up examinations were necessary. Six months ago, Susan was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Tragically, Susan died last week. Mark is certain that Susan was the victim of medical malpractice and wants to file an action for medical malpractice. Mark is now concerned that his common law marriage might not be valid.  Is it?

Common Law Marriage

A “common law marriage” is one in which the parties may hold themselves out as a husband and wife, and under certain circumstances, be deemed married without a marriage license or ceremony. Maryland does not allow the creation of a “common law” marriage, a relationship in which a couple lives together but have not participated in a lawful ceremony. Unlike some other states, in Maryland a couple cannot acquire marital rights and responsibilities by living together for a particular period of time. However, Maryland does recognize as valid, common law marriages created in other states if the legal requirements of those states have been met.

Because of Maryland’s law, despite living together, owning a car and holding themselves out as “man and wife,” Mark and Susan’s relationship is not recognized as a valid marriage by the state of Maryland.

In the setting of a medical malpractice (or personal injury) claim, this has serious consequences. For example, in a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging wrongful death, the basis of such a lawsuit is essentially that due to the negligence of a health care provider, such as a doctor, nurse, physician’s assistant or hospital, a loved one has died. The death is considered to be “wrongful” because you, as a Plaintiff, are alleging that it was the negligence of the health care provider that cause your loved one’s death.

Typically, the person or persons allowed to recover for wrongful death are those members of the decedent’s immediate family, such as spouse, children or mother or father—depending on who the ‘legal beneficiaries’ are in each given situation. Sadly, for Mark, it is highly unlikely that he would qualify as one of Susan’s beneficiaries since they were never, under Maryland law, legally married.

An in-depth discussion of Wrongful Death, Survival Actions and filing medical malpractice actions in the state of Maryland and District of Columbia is also covered in our White Paper:  “Wrongful Death and Survival Actions.”

Disclaimer: As is the case with all of our blogs and the writings posted on our website, we are not offering legal advice to our readers. This information in our series,Legal Boot Camp, is being presented in the hope that we can provide some education about the law in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The law in the field of personal injury (and particularly in our sub-specialty of medical malpractice) can be complex and confusing at times. Even in these two jurisdictions where we are licensed to practice, the laws and their interpretation by the courts can vary significantly. It is simply our hope that by presenting this series – Legal Boot Camp - that we can provide a better understanding of some legal principles that can come into play when bringing a civil claim or lawsuit for damages as a result of the wrongdoing of others.
For those who do not live in either Maryland or the Washington, D.C., we hope that we can at least raise some issues for you to consider when you speak with an attorney licensed to practice in the state in which you live. Many times the basic concepts of law are similar. We hope that by raising some of these issues applicable to Maryland and the District of Columbia, you will at least have a basic understanding of some terms and principles that may apply to your situation. Don’t be afraid to raise these issues with your attorney. Education – be it in law or medicine – is our main goal.
Finally, please see our introductory blog for Legal Boot Camp for a better understanding of our mission in presenting this series.

 

Week in Review: (May 22 – 28, 2011) The Eye Opener Health, Law and Medicine Blog

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

From the Editor – Brian Nash

Last week’s posts by our blawgers were packed with information about a variety of topics ranging from the medicine you need to know about concussions, living with cancer, cerebral palsy resources and the potential risks of overdosing your child with medications.

On the legal front, we began a series I’m personally excited about. We call it Legal Boot Camp. It will be a series for those in our practice jurisdictions of Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our teacher’s face is on – lesson plans in place. We hope you learn some things about the laws that can affect your lives in the areas of personal injury – particularly medical malpractice law.  Our first class took place with a piece by Sarah Keogh that examines the law in Maryland on the right to claim loss/diminished earning capacity. If you’re wondering if you can have such a claim even if you weren’t working when you were injured, Sarah has some information for you. Check it out. Turn in your class card and have some fun.

We wrapped up the week with a piece by yours truly on a wonderful community outreach program by our local baseball heroes, the Baltimore Orioles. Aptly named – OriolesREACH, this initiative has a number of wonderful events, charities and missions that are worth knowing about. One in particular, Shannon’s Fund, is a great program to help those in need while dealing with the financial burdens while dealing with cancer. It is run by the University of Maryland Medical Center. Read about our challenge to our brethren before the bar in the Greater Baltimore Area.

Without further ado, here are the blogs we posted this past week …. and a sneak peak of the week ahead.

Concussions: The Message of Brian Roberts’ Injury Should Not Go Unheeded

Posted by Brian Nash

Anyone who follows sports is well aware that finally the old school mentality of “gut it out and get back in there” following blows to the head are coming (not too soon) to an end. Committees have been formed, articles written and the national spotlight of the media have finally focused on this issue. Those recommendations, debates and guidelines are beyond the scope of this post. Nevertheless, those involved in sports…Read more >

Children’s Medications: Coming Changes and Tips to Avoid Overdose

Posted by Sarah Keogh

My children are both young; the youngest is now a little past her second birthday. In the last few years, we have had both infant and children medication in the house, liquid and tablets, and I have been very careful to make sure to double-check myself if I ever have to medicate either child to make sure that I am reading the correct dosing matrix for the correct concentration and for the correct child. More often than not, I have found that children need medication when their parents are tired. As parents know – children frequently…Read more >

 

Living With Cancer: What to Expect After the Diagnosis

Posted by Jon Stefanuca

About a million and a half people will be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. this year. The devastating truth about cancer is that about one-third of these people will die from cancer at some point. For most, the diagnosis is unexpected and completely overwhelming.The cancer does not just affect how one feels, it undermines all sense of security and stability. It changes lifestyles and redefines relationships. So often the emotional trauma is equally shared among family members and loved ones. Read more >

New Blog Series: Legal Boot Camp

Posted by Brian Nash

I’m really pleased to announce a new series we’re starting today. If you’re a reader of our blog, you know that we post numerous times a week on health, safety, medicine and related law topics. That’s what we do in our firm – we represent people who are injured by the negligence of health care providers and those who suffer catastrophic injuries in non-medical settings as well. So, sharing what we believe is some good information about medical, health and safety issues is our mission. We strongly believe that our social networking should be about giving good information, engaging in dialogue about relevant issues – just plain good, old sharing. Read more >

Legal Boot Camp (First Class): The Story of Pam – Maryland’s Law on Loss of Earning Capacity

Posted by Sarah Keogh

A 41-year-old woman, Pam, who was laid off from her job as a swimming instructor and swim coach in December of 2009, has been struggling to find a new position for the last few years. Even though Pam had been working as a swimming instructor full-time for the past 18 years, she felt that she needed to jump into a new career while waiting to find a new position as a swimming instructor and coach. Starting in October of 2010, her father died leaving her a rundown home that he had recently purchased with the intent of renovating it. Pam felt that she could put her physical fitness and knowledge of home aesthetics to work, not to mention the ideas she picked up watching renovations shows while unemployed, by renovating the home her father left… Read more >

Dealing with Cerebral Palsy: A Resource for Parents and Family

Posted by Jason Penn

Today’s society has become increasingly dependent on aggregators. We use a variety of methods to assemble and sort information so that we can easily consume it.  Mint.com and Quicken help with our finances and Google Reader helps to manage our online content. A quick search of the internet suggests that the parents of children withcerebral palsy do not yet have an objective aggregator of information to turn to.  Let’s consider this our attempt to provide parents in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas with a place to turn. Read more >

Charity Begins at Home: OriolesREACH Program Hits a Grand Slam with Us!

Posted by Brian Nash

I recently wrote a post about our local area charities and civic organizations who do so much for so many in our community. With that in mind, as I was happily reading the sports page in the warm glow of the Orioles’ 12th inning victory yesterday (5 in a row – Go O’s), I came across a piece about a new initiative for our military personnel by the Birds. While looking at the details of this worthy program, I noticed (ashamedly for the first time, I admit) a host of community programs being run by the Orioles. The team uses the name OriolesREACH for the community programs they sponsor, promote or fund. Read more >

Sneak Peak of the Week Ahead

Here’s a sampling of what’s coming next week on The Eye Opener: Views and Opinions from the Nash Community:

  • As families prepare for the upcoming holidays and summer vacation, Theresa Neumann has some important medical advice about what else needs to be included in your travel plans.
  • Legal Boot Camp: Prepare for our second class – get those pencils, pens, iPads and whatever else you need out and ready – there could be a pop quiz on next week’s primary on law.
  • What rights do babies-before-birth (fetal rights) have in our legal system? Do parents who lose a child just before birth have any rights of recovery? You’ll find out next week.
  • Home births are on the rise. Is that a good or a bad thing? Sarah Keogh weighs in on that issue in the coming edition of The Eye Opener

And….maybe even more to come…you can never tell….

Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend. Best to All of You and Your Families and Friends from All of Us at Nash & Associates

Charity begins at home: OriolesREACH program hits a grand slam with us!

Friday, May 27th, 2011

I recently wrote a post about our local area charities and civic organizations who do so much for so many in our community. With that in mind, as I was happily reading the sports page in the warm glow of the Orioles’ 12th inning victory yesterday (5 in a row – Go O’s), I came across a piece about a new initiative for our military personnel by the Birds. While looking at the details of this worthy program, I noticed (ashamedly for the first time, I admit) a host of community programs being run by the Orioles. The team uses the name OriolesREACH for the community programs they sponsor, promote or fund.

Image from Orioles.com - REACH programs

Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation

Here’s the blurb about this Foundation on the O’s website Orioles.com:

The Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation and the Baltimore Orioles, Inc., support many civic and charitable organizations with the goal of enriching the lives of fans throughout Birdland. Since the ownership group led by Peter Angelos purchased the team, the Baltimore Orioles have donated more than $10 million to support various organizations in the community.

In addition to these donations, we all know that the O’s players, coaches and personnel are out in our community giving of their time and money to so many great causes. Of course, it’s not only our Birds who do so much for our community, our Ravens, among many others, are right there with them front and center as well. Kudos to all of you!

Shannon’s Fund

Among the many worthwhile causes and programs, I took note of one in particular that resonated with me – Shannon’s Fund. While you can certainly click on the link I just provided, here’s a  short summary of what this fund is all about:

Shannon Obaker from Orioles.com

In 2008, the Orioles and OriolesREACH established Shannon’s Fund, a $50,000 endowment at the University of Maryland Medical Center to provide financial assistance to hospital patients and their families. Created in memory of Shannon Obaker – the team’s Director of Community Outreach who bravely fought cancer for over a year before passing away in 2007 at age 29 – Shannon’s Fund is administered by the University of Maryland Medical Center. Funds are donated to patients and their family members as need arises to assist with the general expenses associated with the treatment process, including hospital parking, alternate housing, food costs and household bills.

A wonderful program indeed! Have you ever known a family in need of help with the expenses associated with medical care? If you’re old enough to read this, I suspect the answer is “yes.”

Ironic – I think not!

So why would a lawyer who makes a living suing medical care providers for patients injured by medical negligence be promoting a fund administered by a local area hospital whom he has sued on more than one occasion? Maybe you can ask Mr. Angelos the same question. His generosity in charitable gifts, time and resources in this community is legendary.

The two principles are really not conflicting. If a health care provider causes injury to a patient through wrongdoing, redress in the form of proper compensation to the victim of that malpractice is absolutely the good and proper result – a good and worthy cause. If a health care provider, who does so much good for so many people as a general rule, organizes, runs and promotes a worthy community program such as Shannon’s Fund, that is also a good and worthy cause to promote! Simply put – in my humble opinion – it’s all about doing the right thing in different ways.

So….with that in mind, I’m here today to promote the OriolesREACH programs and more specifically, among them,  Shannon’s Fund.

A Call to Action – to All – but particularly Lawyers in Baltimore

Starting today, our firm will be making regular contributions to Shannon’s Fund. We will be adding it to the list of community outreach programs we are involved with throughout the year – not just during the baseball season.

Since lawyers are said to like a challenge or two, we’re issuing a challenge to our fellow friends and lawyers in the Greater Baltimore Area to join us in helping fund this program at the University of Maryland Medical Center. We’ll even make it easy for you – here’s the link for online donations provided by our Birds – Donate to Shannon’s Fund.

Best of luck and continued success to the Orioles in all of their community outreach programs. Well done… and if you could just make baseball fun in September again (or maybe even October), that would be great too!

 

Legal Boot Camp (First Class): The Story of Pam – Maryland’s Law on Earning Capacity

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Image from cnbc.com

Wondering what “Legal Boot Camp” is all about? Check out our announcement, find out, come along, have some fun and learn some “law stuff” while you’re at it.   Please see our disclaimer at the end of this blog for a better understanding of the limitations of this series and our mission statement.

Class is now in session….

A 41-year-old woman, Pam, who was laid off from her job as a swimming instructor and swim coach in December of 2009, has been struggling to find a new position for the last few years. Even though Pam had been working as a swimming instructor full-time for the past 18 years, she felt that she needed to jump into a new career while waiting to find a new position as a swimming instructor and coach. Starting in October of 2010, her father died leaving her a rundown home that he had recently purchased with the intent of renovating it. Pam felt that she could put her physical fitness and knowledge of home aesthetics to work, not to mention the ideas she picked up watching renovations shows while unemployed, by renovating the home her father left and selling it for a profit. Since Pam thought that this could be her new vocation along with being a swim instructor, she formed a company for her new real estate and renovation business. She also bought a few additional run-down properties at auction. She started the renovations on the first house and completed a stunning new kitchen and had begun the demolition for a new bath by January of 2011. While still unemployed as a swimming instructor and before making any profit on her real estate business, Pam underwent a routine medical procedure at a local area hospital. Unfortunately, while still in the hospital following the procedure, she was severely injured and has been left paraplegic.

Now, Pam is considering filing a lawsuit as a result of the negligent care she received while hospitalized. Given the extent of her injuries, she will not be able to return to her job as a swimming instructor and she will have to hire workers if she is going to complete any additional renovations in the homes that she purchased. She may be able to work again, but not without significant assistance and not in either of her prior capacities. The question for today is what damages might she be able to claim in terms of a lost wages claim or a diminished earning capacity claim in Maryland.

Unemployment Not a Bar to Recovery for Loss of Earnings

In personal injury actions in Maryland, unemployment or self-employment without earning a profit at the time of injury are not a bar to recovery for loss of earning or loss of earning capability. In Ihrie v. Anthony, to Use of Gov’t Emp. Ins. Co., 205 Md. 296,107 A.2d 104 (1954), a woman was injured in a car accident while unemployed. She had previously worked in several jobs, both office positions and real estate work. Ihrie, 205 Md. at 303-304,107 A.2d at 107. After her injury, she was unable to continue to work in these types of positions, though there is some dispute about that. Id. at 304, 107 A.2d at 107. What is important to consider for Pam is that in the Ihrie case, the injured woman was allowed to recover. Id. at 309, 107 A.2d at 110.

The court held that “[t]he fact that the plaintiff was unemployed at the time of the accident and for several years prior thereto is not fatal to her right to recover.” Id. at 305, 107 A.2d at 107. In that case, like the one we are considering today, the woman who was injured had worked in the past and had a history of employment and wages to consider. The judges took the woman’s injuries and her past earning history into account in making their decision:

We are of the opinion that there was sufficient evidence of the permanence of the plaintiff’s injuries and of their impairing her earning power to warrant the submission of those issues to the jury and that there was sufficient evidence to serve the jury as a guide in measuring the extent of her loss of earnings.

Id. at 306-307, 107 A.2d 104, 108. Pam’s injuries and her past history of employment as a swim instructor should be presented at trial in her claim for loss of earnings. The past year and a half of unemployment should not bar her recovery since she has an eighteen-year history of employment to measure her loss of earnings for the future.

Can She Recover for Her Business?

What about Pam’s fledgling real estate business? She was working herself on the houses, which she will not be able to do moving forward. In order to complete the renovations and sell the homes, she will have to hire renovators at a significant expense. Since her business did not yet have a profit, she does not have the same sort of earnings history as she does for her past job as a swim instructor. However, she may still be able to recover for a loss of earning capacity.

In Anderson v. Litzenberg, 115 Md. App. 549, 694 A.2d 150 (1997), the court found that if someone is self-employed in a not yet profitable business at the time of their injury, they may still be able to recover for their loss of earning capacity. The case examined the situation of a man who was injured in an accident while he was partially self-employed in a real estate business that was not making a profit. Id. The court examined the question of loss of earning capacity. Id. The court defined impairment of earning capacity as the “lost capacity to earn, rather than what a plaintiff would have earned.” Id. at 572, 694 A.2d at 161 (internal citations omitted). The court explains that:

It is generally recognized that impairment of earning capacity seeks to compensate the plaintiff for a reduction in his ability to earn through his personal services. Once the fact of impaired earning capacity is established, the plaintiff must submit evidence so that the extent of the impairment can reasonably be determined. The prevailing proper measure of lost earning capacity is the difference between the amount that the plaintiff was capable of earning before his injury and that which he is capable of earning thereafter. Essentially, the plaintiff must establish the disparity between the market value of his services before and after the injury.

The objective is to place [the victim] in the same economic position as would have been … had the injury not occurred. We seek to accomplish this goal by a formula which … consists of determining what [plaintiff's] annual earning power would have been but for the injury, deducting what it will be thereafter, multiplying the result by [plaintiff's] expectancy, and discounting the product to present value.”

Id. at 572-73, 694 A.2d at 161-62 (internal citations omitted). This would be the formula that would need to be considered in Pam’s case. The necessary proof would need to be provided of Pam’s former earning capacity before her injury and whatever earning capacity she has with her injury. However, Anderson makes clear that the specificity of earning capacity need not be as great as that of lost earnings – as it would be nearly impossible to know for certain what sort of profit Pam might make in the future. See id.

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to file a personal injury action for medical malpractice. One of the considerations is certainly whether the potential damages award makes it worthwhile to undertake the costs of litigating for the wrong inflicted upon the injured party. Have you ever been involved in a case involving lost earnings or loss of earning capacity in a personal injury case? Was there unemployment involved? This seems likely to be a more frequent question with the current economic realities in our country.

Related Posts:

Every bad outcome or injury does NOT a malpractice case make! Some practical advice.

Should you sue a healthcare provider? Some guidelines to help you decide.

 

Disclaimer: As is the case with all of our blogs and the writings posted on our website, we are not offering legal advice to our readers. This information in our series,Legal Boot Camp, is being presented in the hope that we can provide some education about the law in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The law in the field of personal injury (and particularly in our sub-specialty of medical malpractice) can be complex and confusing at times. Even in these two jurisdictions where we are licensed to practice, the laws and their interpretation by the courts can vary significantly. It is simply our hope that by presenting this series – Legal Boot Camp - that we can provide a better understanding of some legal principles that can come into play when bringing a civil claim or lawsuit for damages as a result of the wrongdoing of others.

For those who do not live in either Maryland or the Washington, D.C., we hope that we can at least raise some issues for you to consider when you speak with an attorney licensed to practice in the state in which you live. Many times the basic concepts of law are similar. We hope that by raising some of these issues applicable to Maryland and the District of Columbia, you will at least have a basic understanding of some terms and principles that may apply to your situation. Don’t be afraid to raise these issues with your attorney. Education – be it in law or medicine – is our main goal.

 

School’s Duty to Parents: Is Your Child at Risk?

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Image from tutoringmontana.com

Recently, I have been thinking quite a bit about schools. My son is going to start kindergarten in the fall and my daughter just started preschool last week. While both of my kids are still little, over the years children end up spending many of their waking hours each week at school. The school becomes as much a part of their lives as home for most kids. As parents, we put trust in the school that they will be keeping our children safe and healthy while we are not around to supervise. But do the schools recognize that trust and live up to it?

I was recently made aware of a situation involving a teenager who was having some health concerns. Her parents had first noticed that their daughter seemed to be altering her eating patterns. Since they were not certain if there was a problem forming and what was going on during the school day, they called the school and asked if the school thought that there was any reason to be concerned. This seemed to be a prudent action for any concerned parent. But what, if anything, is the school required to tell the parents? What if the parents had not noticed a problem, but the school knew that something was not right, would they have needed to call it to the parents’ attention?

Legally, it turns out that a school is considered to stand in loco parentis over the children in its care. This fancy legalese just means that the school stands in as substitute parents during the school day.  This is true of both public and private schools. The school holds a duty to protect and supervise students in its care. The courts have determined that this includes taking care to protect children from foreseeable harm, the way a reasonable parent would do if they were there.

So what does this all mean? Some of this is pretty straightforward. A school needs to protect your children from harm they could foresee. A school has to take reasonable precautions to protect children from getting hurt on the playground or from cars driving around the campus – to the same extent that a prudent parent would do so.  For public policy reasons, schools are often a place where the government often takes an even more active role in monitoring children’s health – for example in doing hearing and vision screenings.

But what about other types of harms? Most parents would want to know if their child was being bullied, was showing signs of developing an eating disorder or was considering hurting him or herself. Does a school have a duty to inform parents anytime there might be a chance of one of these harms?

The law does not seem to be settled in on this point.  Generally speaking, the school would need to take reasonable steps to protect a child if the school could foresee that the child was at risk of being harmed by another child in the school.  The law is not explicit about whether that includes informing the parents. When the risk is not of another child hurting your child but of your child hurting him or herself, the law is much less clear. In Maryland, it seems possible that a school might have a duty to warn a parent if they believe a child is suicidal. The school counselor may have a duty to warn the parent as part of a duty to take reasonable means to prevent the child’s suicide. However, the law is not explicit about when that duty arises.

What do you think? Does a school have a duty to inform parents if there is a reasonable chance that a child might be a danger to him or herself? What if your child is engaging in behaviors that might cause harm over time? Is this the role of a school?

Budget Crisis Avoided, But What About the Babies? Can They Live With $504 Million Less in Funding?

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Let’s start here:  The Federal Government Shutdown has been avoided.  Federal workers and government contractors that depend on a functioning federal government can breathe a deep sigh of relief.  As the hysteria subsides and we return to business as usual, we should ask ourselves – “Are we really returning to business as usual?”  When it comes to your health and more specifically, the healthcare that you and your baby receive, the answer very well may be a resounding “NO.”

How It All Happened

I suppose I should set the stage for you, in case you missed the hand-wringing and other hysterics.  The two houses of Congress are divided.  As is par for the course, Democrats profess that one course of action is correct and Republicans declare that another course is more appropriate.  A budget needs to be in place for the government to function, yet the two political parties couldn’t come to an agreement.  A shutdown of the federal government was promised if a compromise was not reached.  The American public held its breath—or protested.  At the 11th hour, cuts were made, backroom deals were struck, and Washington spoke:  there will be $38 billion dollars trimmed from the federal budget.  On a positive note, federal agencies will remain operational until the end of September. Reason to cheer? Maybe. Before we break out the party hats and noise makers, let’s take a look at how healthcare fared.  The following areas are among those cut:

-         Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC):  $504 million

-         Community Health Centers:  $600 million

-         Substantance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration:  $45 million

-         Infectious Disease prevention:  $277 million

Total:  $1.426 Billion.  Yes, billion, with a “B”!

WIC, Babies, Community Health & Death

Women, Infants and Children, otherwise known as WIC, is a program that provides food for poor women and children up to the age of five.  WIC’s mission statement is “to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5, who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.” WIC gives targeted nutritional supplementation to help prevent birth defects and developmental problems caused by malnutrition.  It also provides information on healthy foods and referrals for medical care, according to the program’s website.

The WIC program gave out about $7 billion in food grants to states in 2010. There were nearly 8.9 million households receiving WIC benefits at the end of 2010, according to the Department of Agriculture. Locally, on an annual basis, Maryland WIC serves over 130,000 women, infants and children each month.  More than 151,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants, and toddlers benefit from the program in Virginia.  Despite the number of women, infants and children assisted by the program, the recent budget compromise promises to slash $504 million in funding. The startling aspect is the number of women and children that are eligible but for one reason or another are not enrolled in the program. There is an estimated 43 percent of women and children, who are eligible for benefits but aren’t receiving them.  The cuts to funding will effectively foreclose their opportunity to receive benefits. At risk and in need, they will have to look elsewhere.  Sadly, many will not.

In addition to the significant cuts to WIC’s budget, the budget for community health centers would drop by about $600 million, affecting access to basic health services for approximately 5 million low-income Americans, according to the National Association for Community Health Centers. By 2015, according to NACHC, the reduction could undermine health centers’ capacity to provide services to 40 million people.

But what does it mean?

It is 2011.  My computer, cell phone and other gadgets all confirm that we are soundly within the confines of the 21st century. While we can certainly live with the fact that automobiles do not take flight a la The Jetsons, what is troubling is that we are continuing to battle fetal death in the United States.  Around 2.6 million babies are born with no signs of life after 28 weeks’ gestation – which defines a stillbirth. Undoubtedly, most of these stillbirths take place in developing countries.  Nonetheless, in the world’s wealthiest nations around 1 in every 300 babies are stillborn.  In 2005, data from the National Vital Statistics Report showed a US national average stillbirth rate of 6.2 per 1000 births. In fact, of the world’s most advanced economies, the United States has the highest infant mortality rate.  In Maryland, a preliminary report from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) shows that Maryland’s infant mortality rate is 7.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

The major causes of stillbirths—complications during labor, maternal infections, hypertension, diabetes, and fetal growth restriction—aren’t too different from the major causes of maternal or neonatal deaths. Among the most fundamental ways to prevent stillbirths and fetal death is to improve basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric care. Providing pregnant women folic acid supplements, preventing disease, and improved detection and management of infection during pregnancy are simple ways to ensure babies are born healthy.

According to WIC, numerous studies have shown that pregnant women who participate in WIC have longer pregnancies leading to fewer premature births; have fewer low birth-weight babies; experience fewer fetal and infant deaths; seek prenatal care earlier in pregnancy and consume more of such key nutrients as iron, protein, calcium and vitamin C. That being said, the budget negotiations resulted in drastic cuts to a program effective at reducing harm to the nation’s most vulnerable?  Oh, boy.

With the exception of a short stint as a student legislator in high school and college, I do not have meaningful experience in the political arena.  I will not pretend to have significant insight into what it takes to balance a federal budget.  As a lay person, what I can do is look at the statistics and read the reports.  The numbers and reports tell me that in the 21st century America, a scary number of its children are being harmed by the preventable.  On top of that, the funding—the lifeblood—that sustains the programs aimed at reducing the problem just took a devastating blow. Will the programs designed to help our most vulnerable continue to operate? We can only hope.   At least, for the sake of the children. So please excuse me if I don’t put on my party hat and celebrate the $38 billion in budget cuts. I haven’t found a cause for celebration just yet.

Agree or disagree? That’s why the comment section is below. Let me know if you have your party shoes on.

 

Report Card on Failing Hospitals: Prince George’s Hospital Center Tops ‘Complications’ List

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

From the Editor (Brian Nash):

The following is the first of many blogs-to-come by our new associate lawyer, Jason Penn. Read about Jason’s background and enjoy reading his first venture into the blogosphere of medicine-law-healthcare.

By: Jason Penn

Prince George’s Hospital Center finds itself at the top of yet another dubious list.  With 4 out of every 1,000 patients experiencing a complication, Prince George’s Hospital has failed to meet a target for the prevention of complications set by the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission.

The penalty for Prince George’s Hospital?  The hospital’s ‘rate increase’– or how much the hospital can charge for services rendered — will be lowered by $890,000 for next year.  The State uses a payment-related methodology to reduce the frequency of hospital-based complications.  The State of Maryland has the authority to establish hospital payment levels applicable to both private insurance companies and public insurers such as Medicare and Medicaid.  The methodology links payments to hospital performance on a list of 52 acquired conditions.  These conditions are complications that are unlikely to be a consequence of the natural progression of an underlying disease.  The program seeks to eliminate some of the most serious and injurious patient complications in Maryland’s 47 acute care hospitals:  bed sores, infections, accidental punctures or cuts during medical procedures, strokes, falls, delivery with placental complications, obstetrical hemorrhage without transfusion, septicemia, collapsed lungs and kidney failure.

The Maryland Hospital Acquired Conditions Initiative, begun in 2009, is an effort to tie financial incentives and penalties to how well hospitals perform in reducing life threatening, dangerous and preventable complications.  Maryland’s motivation in starting the initiative is not pure; rather, as the Commission’s name suggests, it is a cost savings measure.  Patient safety taking an apparent backseat, the Commission recognized that many of the complications that occur in the hospital setting are costly, to the tune of $521 million in 2010.

Prince George’s Hospital Center is not alone, however.  Eight other Maryland and Washington D.C. area hospitals will face penalties for complications.  Doctors Community, Washington Adventist, Montgomery General, Shady Grove Adventist, University of Maryland Medical Center, St. Joseph Medical Center, and Civista Medical Center of Cumberland, Maryland have been penalized due to their failure to meet targets for the prevention of complications.  Those hospitals will lose a combined $2.1 million in the amount they can charge patients, according to a story first reported by Kaiser Health News.

The Commission’s Executive Director Robert Murray noted in a news release that in fiscal year 2008, the Commission estimated preventable, hospital-based complications were seen in “55,000 of the State’s total 800,000 inpatient cases,” representing $522 million in hospital payments that could have potentially been avoided.  The number of complications is staggering:  The University of Maryland Medical System had an observed number of complications of 1223 cases; Prince Georges Hospital had 553; while Montgomery General Hospital had 304 listed.  All three hospitals were worse than the state average.

In the original Kaiser Health article, Mr. John O’Brien, president of Prince George’s Hospital noted that “the problem mainly lies in how the hospital tracks, codes and reports data, not in patient care.”

One thing seems certain – Prince George’s Hospital is failing.  The numbers certainly suggest that it is failing in its patient care responsibilities yet Mr. O’Brien reports that it is merely a “failure of its tracking system.”  If, theoretically, it is as Mr. O’Brien says – that the tracking system is faulty, how does he conclude that the system is creating false positives and is not underreporting the errors?  The common thread is clear.  Prince George’s and other local hospitals are failing, either at tracking untoward events or at patient care and likely injuring their patients in the process.

The truly frightening aspect is that there are an untold number of patients that were irreparably harmed by these complications.  At first blush, the State’s attempt is laudable, clearly designed to hit the hospitals in their wallets for its misgivings.  The penalties notwithstanding, the State’s initiative offers no mechanism to compensate the victims of these hospital complications.  Every indication is that the injured patients and their advocates are left to pursue alternative avenues to obtain compensation for these so-called “complications.”

 

Baltimore Loses a True Sports Legend and a Gem of a Man – Ernie Tyler

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Ernie Tyler - Baltimore Orioles Legend (photo by daylife.com)

Friday, on the way to the office, the news came across my car radio that Orioles Great, Ernie Tyler, had died. For those of you not from Baltimore or who don’t follow the Orioles, you might ask: “Who is Ernie Tyler? What was his ERA, or his batting average, on base percentage…?” Well, those were not statistics that were associated with this legend of Baltimore sports. You have no doubt heard about Baltimore’s Iron Man – Cal Ripken, Jr., who was drafted in the second round by the Orioles in 1978, played his final game on October 6, 2001, and set the all-time record for consecutive games played at an astounding figure of 2,632. Now you should know about Baltimore’s other Iron Man – Ernie Tyler, who put-up a bigger consecutive games number than Cal – 3,769.

Why haven’t you heard about this Iron Man? Why hasn’t he been featured by national media? Maybe because Ernie was one of those behind the scenes people, without whom the game would not be the same. The irony is, however, that Ernie really wasn’t behind the scenes; he was front and center at every Orioles game – he was the Orioles’ “umpires attendant,” who performed his job with grace, diligence and panache for over 50 years!

Sure, I saw Ernie performing his job whether I was sitting in my seat at a game or watching from my couch. I didn’t know the man personally, but every Orioles fan must have that feeling that they did know Ernie. He didn’t perform his tasks of delivering new balls to the home plate umpire with a unique flair or in some attention-grabbing outfit. When a foul ball was lying listless in the dirt behind home plate and needed to be removed so the game could play on, there he was, with what is described by former Oriole’s great, Mike Boddicker, as his “meat hooks” hands, swooping down on the ball, with his “side-to-side trot” in one graceful movement so the game could resume without delay. We all know that balls need to have the shine treated before games so that pitchers can get a better grip.

Ernie Tyler mudding-up the ball (photo by The Daily Record)

Well, it’s estimated that Ernie mudded-up over 350,000 balls for the games he oversaw. But stats are not what Ernie was all about. They belonged to the man, but he belonged to the fans of the Baltimore Orioles.

The “other Iron Man” breaks his streak for “the Iron Man”

If you want to get a glimpse of what this man was like and why he is revered by Baltimore fans, just ask yourself: how and why did Ernie’s consecutive games streak end? The answer: when Cal Ripken, Jr. was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he asked Ernie to attend. Having faithfully performed his duties from 1960 to 2007, without missing a game over that span of time, Ernie elected to break “the streak” and attend the celebration in Cooperstown, N.Y. Once the festivities were over, he dutifully returned to his place near the Orioles dugout and continued to do “his thing” for the next few years. Ernie was still snatching foul balls and replenishing the umpire’s supply of fresh balls, he had mudded-up well into his 80’s.

Loved by so many and now to be missed by all who knew him

The stories of Ernie and his love of the game, the Orioles, its players, its fans, the city of Baltimore and most of all his family are chronicled in today’s edition of the Baltimore Sun and need not be repeated here. For those of us who only “knew” Ernie from afar, he nevertheless left an indelible mark on our lives. He touched us – and I simply cannot be alone in this feeling – in a very special way. His passing brings to mind stories my father used to share with me as a boy of his growing up in Brooklyn and living next to players from the Brooklyn Dodgers. Time spent on the porch and sharing stories of the Bums, who walked the streets and worked the same jobs as many of their adoring fans. Ernie reminds me of a man of that era – a real baseball man, who lived and breathed the game and brought a smile to the faces of countless baseball fans. A legend among the gods of baseball – in his own special way.

Many have left the game with grace; some with not so graceful an exit. Many have touched the souls of countless fans of America’s sport. Those plaudits are usually reserved for the men who play between the lines from April to October each year. But when a man such as Ernie Tyler passes, a very special word of praise and thanks is in order. So – thank you, Ernie!  We’ll miss you dearly. You are a sports legend of a special kind; the kind of legend that permits the game to pass from generation to generation with grace and charm.

Related Stories

Tyler was the real Mr. Oriole…

Late Orioles umpires attendant Ernie Tyler was like family…(Peter Schmuck)