A Maryland personal injury action is initiated when the plaintiff files a pleading, commonly referred to as the complaint, with the courts. If the complaint does not conform to the Maryland Rules, it may be dismissed, as in an October 20, 2021 case before the Court of Special Appeals. The plaintiff brought the appeal after the circuit court dismissed his complaint and denied his motion to file an amended complaint.
The plaintiff in the case was injured while performing his job as a construction worker. As he was using a bore for the installation of a gas pipeline, the tool caught on his foot. His foot slipped and went inside the machine, resulting in severe injuries to his foot and a partial amputation. The plaintiff filed a negligence action against multiple companies and contractors present on the job site, as well as the owner of the property, and sought damages exceeding two million dollars.
The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the complaint did not comply with the Maryland Rules. In particular, the defendants argued that the complaint failed to characterize the damages sought as being in excess of $75,000, asserted the same legal conclusions against all of the defendants, and failed to allege any facts establishing the liability of a specific defendant. The plaintiff opposed the motion and sought to amend the complaint, which the circuit court denied. The ruling effectively barred the plaintiff’s suit, as any re-filed action would be subject to a statue of limitations defense.