Contributory Negligence Remains a Complete Bar to Recovery in Negligence Actions

In Coleman v. Soccer Association of Columbia, the Maryland Court of Appeals was recently presented with the issue of whether it should abrogate the doctrine of contributory negligence and adopt comparative negligence, which is followed by the majority of other states.  In declining to adopt comparative negligence, the Court noted that since it was last presented with and considered the issue …

New Rule Regarding Ad Damnum Clauses in Complaints

Rule 2-305 of the Maryland Rules of Civil Procedure was recently amended to prohibit a party from praying for a specific amount of money damages in excess of $75,000.00.  For claims less than $75,000.00, a party is required to plead a specific dollar amount.   The $75,000.00 figure was used in the rule since it is the minimum amount required to …

Worsham v. Greenfield

Worsham v. Greenfield, 2013 Md.  LEXIS 823, No. 139, Sept. Term, 2009 (October 23, 2013) In this long-awaited decision, the Court of Appeals of Maryland ruled that, pursuant to Maryland Rule 1-341, litigation costs may be awarded to a defendant who is forced to defend itself against claims brought without substantial justification, even if the actual costs of the defense were paid for …

S&S Oil, Inc. v. Jackson

In this case, the Court of Appeals re-affirmed that the defenses of assumption of risk and contributory negligence are separate and distinct and usually require separate questions on a special verdict form.  In doing so, the Court reversed a decision of the Court of Special Appeals that had affirmed a trial court’s decision to withhold from the verdict sheet a question …