Some personal injury actions are complicated due to the involvement of multiple defendants and competing theories of liability. In an April 3, 2019 Maryland car accident case, the Court of Special Appeals reviewed a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff, which resulted in a judgment against the two defendants.
The plaintiff in the case was injured in a three-car accident. The first defendant owned the vehicle that caused a chain reaction collision. On the night of the accident, the first defendant was socializing at a restaurant bar with a man she had met that night. Believing that she was too intoxicated to drive, she allowed the man to drive her vehicle because she had not seen him consume any drinks. During the drive, the man began driving erratically and at an excessive rate of speed. While being pursued by police, the first defendant’s vehicle struck the median past a traffic intersection and became airborne, traveling over three other cars before crashing into the side of the street.
The plaintiff alleged that, after the first defendant’s vehicle came to a stop, the second defendant’s vehicle suddenly accelerated through the intersection, hit the median, and struck the front driver’s side of her vehicle. Throughout the case, the second defendant maintained that he was rendered unconscious as a result of being hit by the first defendant’s vehicle, and that his incapacitation led him to strike the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff testified that she could not determine whether the second defendant was unconscious as his vehicle approached hers, nor could she recall how much time had passed after the first defendant crashed and when the second defendant’s vehicle struck her car.