In Maryland, an individual may seek damages for personal injuries caused by another person by taking legal action. In a December 4, 2019 opinion, the Court of Special Appeals reviewed a personal injury case arising out of an altercation between the security officer of a restaurant bar and one of its patrons. The matter was brought to the court on appeal of the lower court’s decision granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants.
The plaintiff in the case had been drinking at the restaurant bar with four of his friends. After the plaintiff’s friends left the bar intoxicated, they began breaking glass bottles in the parking lot. Three bouncers approached them, including the defendant, who was a state police trooper currently working a second job as a security officer of the restaurant. At that moment, the plaintiff was forcibly removed from the bar by another bouncer. The defendant approached the plaintiff and asked him to leave. They began to argue, and the defendant executed a takedown maneuver that caused the plaintiff to hit his head on the pavement and fracture his temporal bone.
The plaintiff filed a suit against the restaurant, the property owners, and several other defendants, including the trooper. He asserted multiple personal injury claims against the defendants for negligence and excessive force. After the witnesses were deposed, the circuit court granted the defendants motions for summary judgment. One of the issues on appeal was whether the circuit court properly concluded that the trooper’s force was not excessive.