Articles Posted in Damages

Generally, people seeking damages in personal injury lawsuits will allege that they suffered bodily harm. While plaintiffs can usually recover compensation for physical injuries they suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence, they cannot recover damages for emotional injuries caused by learning about or witnessing property damage. There are exceptions to the general rule, though, like the personal safety exception, as discussed in a recent Maryland case. If you suffered emotional harm due to another party’s carelessness, it is advisable to contact a Maryland personal injury lawyer to discuss whether you might be owed damages.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant crashed his truck into the plaintiffs’ house in September 2019. The accident occurred early in the morning. While the plaintiffs were home at the time of the incident, they did not sustain any physical harm. They suffered emotional injuries, however, and subsequently sought compensation from the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. After the completion of discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiffs could not recover damages for emotional injuries brought about by witnessing damage to their property. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiffs appealed.

The Personal Safety Exception

On appeal, the trial court ruling was reversed. In Maryland, a plaintiff ordinarily cannot recover compensation for emotional injuries caused by witnessing carelessly inflicted injury to their property. There are exceptions, however, including the personal safety exception. The court explained that the personal safety exception allows for recovery when the defendant’s carelessness caused property damage that subsequently causes emotional harm that is brought about by the plaintiff’s reasonable fear for their own safety or for the safety of their family members. Continue Reading ›

Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, may be awarded in a Maryland personal injury lawsuit to compensate injured plaintiffs and their families for intangible losses.  Damages for pain and suffering, although not easily quantified by a dollar amount, can rest on the credibility of the plaintiff’s testimony, as in a January 6, 2021, personal injury case.  After the jury in the case awarded $350,000 to the plaintiff for non-economic damages, the defendant filed a motion to reduce the judgment.  The trial court denied the motion, and the defendant appealed the matter to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.

The plaintiff in the case was dining at a restaurant owned by the defendant.  As she was eating a nacho appetizer, she bit into an industrial metal screw that had separated from the machine in the kitchen that tosses tortilla chips.  The pain was immediate and searing.  She incurred injuries to the upper left part of her mouth that required two root canals and three crowns.

The plaintiff filed a personal injury suit against the defendant, seeking damages to compensate her for her medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  The defendant conceded that it owed the plaintiff a duty of care and that it had breached this duty.  Before trial, the plaintiff withdrew her claims for past medical expenses and lost wages, leaving non-economic damages as the only component of her requested damages.  The sole issues for the jury, therefore, were whether the screw proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and if so, the amount, if any, of non-economic damages to award the plaintiff.  After a three-day trial, the jury returned a verdict of $350,000.

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A medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed in Texas resulting from alleged hospital negligence. The allegations suggest that a 3 year old girl had a corroded lithium battery stuck in her nose and the hospital failed to take an x-ray of the noseat the initial emergency room visit and also sprayed medicines up the nose that caused the battery to leak acid into the nose.

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Physicians are concerned about a new infection that appears to be drug-resistant. Continue Reading ›

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