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Famous Malpractice Lawyer Passes Away

Image from Baltimore Sun

The man who has been long held to be the “maestro of medical malpractice torts,” Marvin Ellin, a retired Baltimore attorney, recently died as the result of a respiratory ailment on January 8th. Ellin was 92.

Retired Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Joseph F. Murphy Jr. Said of Ellin: “Marvin was the dean of the medical malpractice bar. He was a hard-charger and a straight-ahead guy. There was nothing sneaky in his trial strategy. We all had respect for him.”

Ellin graduated from the old Mount Vernon School of Law in 1953 and became a junior partner to Baltimore attorney Thomas Tingley, who worked in interstate commerce and public service law. He initially represented bus companies before the Interstate Commerce Commission. When Mr. Tingley died, Mr. Ellin took over the practice.

Ellin eventually began to get more accident referral cases. Many of those accident referrals required the collection of medical and hospital records and discussing the injury and the impact that it had. He eventually made medical cases a specialty.

“He was very competent but not very liked, especially in the Baltimore medical community,” said Baltimore attorney Herbert Garten, of the firm of Fedder and Garten. “It was obvious the juries did like him, and he performed a valuable service on behalf of his clients. He was a pioneer in the field.”

It was a case he took in 1960 of an Army captain’s wife who died after being given 100 times the normal radiation to treat her breast cancer at a military hospital and the settlement with the U.S. government that gained him even more notoriety and even more referrals.

But it was in 1988 when he was working with Ernest and Regina Twigg, who came to Baltimore with their daughter, Arlena, who had a rare disease and later died that got him noticed worldwide. Blood tests revealed that Arlena was not their biological daughter. Ellin determined that Arlena had been switched at birth in a rural Florida hospital. The suit sought $100 million in damages.

News programs including ’60 Minutes’ and ’20/20′ and ‘Donahue’, as well as newspapers wanted to interview Ellin. He later withdrew from the case citing “personal reasons.”

Ellin stopped practicing law when at age 86 after suffering loss of his hearing.

Ellin is survived by two sons, Morris Ellin of Reisterstown and Raymond Ellin of Pikesville; three other grandsons; and four great-grandchildren. Ellin was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Stella, who died in 1994.

Marvin Ellin blazed a trail for many in the practice of malpractice law. This specialized area of the law takes dedication and commitment to ensuring that patients and their family are served and treated fairly and toward improving patient safety.

At Bottar Leone, PLLC we have been defending the rights of patients and their families for nearly three decades. We are committed to medical malpractice cases involving severe personal injury and the tragedy of wrongful death.

If you, your child, or a loved one has been injured due to medical malpractice, contact the law offices of Bottar Leone, PLLC, to learn about your rights. You may be eligible for compensation for health care, medical expenses, hospital bills, loss of income, as well as pain and suffering.

Contact us with any medical questions and concerns by calling (315) 313-6809, (888) 979-1689, or you may reach us by email at info@bottarlaw.com.