Presenting sufficient evidence is crucial for a plaintiff to establish a Maryland personal injury claim. Generally, the trial court will determine whether evidence is admissible, and therefore permitted to be shown to a jury. In an April 16, 2020 opinion, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland reviewed some of the disputed evidence in a lead paint case. The appeal arose from a lawsuit filed by the plaintiff, who alleged that the defendant’s negligence resulted in her exposure to lead paint. After a trial, the jury returned a verdict finding the defendant not guilty of negligence. The plaintiff then sought review regarding the admissibility of certain evidence in the case.
The plaintiff in the case had lived at a property owned by the defendants from her birth in 1996 until 2008. Her mother testified that the plaintiff had learned to sit, crawl, and walk at the property, and would put thing in her mouth that were on the floor, including paint chips and things with paint chips on them. She also testified that the plaintiff had difficulty in school, specifically problems with focusing and concentrating.
At trial, the plaintiff sought to admit a lead testing survey report relied upon by her expert witness. The defendant objected in that the report was prepared by someone whom the expert had trained. The trial court ruled that the expert could testify about the data in the report, but that the report could not be admitted or given to the jury for their interpretation. At the close of trial, the jury found in favor of the defendant. One of the issues argued by the plaintiff on appeal was that the trial court had erred by not allowing the lead testing survey report.