Maryland Jury Finds in Favor of Plaintiff Injured at Event Hosted by School Board

In Maryland, a person who suffers an injury due to the negligence of another individual, business, or entity may seek compensation for their losses in a personal injury suit.  If the case goes to trial, the jury will usually decide whether the defendant was negligent based on the proof presented.  In an August 28, 2018 Maryland personal injury case, the Court of Special Appeals reviewed a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff, who was injured during an event hosted by the defendant.  After the plaintiff won her case, the defendants appealed to the higher court.

The defendant in the case was the city board of school commissioners.  The board hosted a retirement party, where the plaintiff was one of several retirees being honored in the cafeteria of a local school.  To provide the retirees with celebratory “red carpet” treatment as their names were called, one of the board’s party organizers placed a red felt aisle runner on the cafeteria floor.  The runner began to bunch up after the first few retirees walked or danced down the aisle, and party organizers attempted to straighten out the runner.  The plaintiff was the seventh person to walk down the aisle.  As she reached the end of the runner, she stopped to take a slight bow.  The plaintiff then stood back up and attempted to continue walking, but fell to the ground.  The plaintiff suffered significant injuries to her hip, which required surgery and a lengthy hospital stay.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging negligence claims against the board and the individual party organizers.  After a three day trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff.  The defendant appealed arguing several grounds for reversal, one of which was that the plaintiff did not present sufficient evidence at trial for the case to be submitted to the jury.  Specifically, the defendant contended that the plaintiff failed to produce any evidence that the party volunteer who provided the aisle runner was negligent, including evidence that the volunteer was informed or had knowledge of any trip hazards associated with the aisle runner.

The appeals court explained that if there is any competent evidence, however slight, leading to support the plaintiff’s right to recover, the case should be submitted to the jury.  The court noted that the evidence produced at trial included a video recording showing the aisle runner bunching up as the retirees walked on it, and then being straightened several times.  The video also showed that the runner was bunched and torn after the plaintiff’s fall, which supported the plaintiff’s testimony that she “caught her foot on something.”  The appeal court found that the evidence presented was sufficient, and went on to affirm the judgment in favor of the plaintiff.

At Foran & Foran, P.A., our experienced Maryland attorneys litigate personal injury cases arising out of medical malpractice, motorcycle and automobile collisions, slip and fall accidents, and many other types of negligence and wrongful conduct.  To discuss your case with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, call our office at (301) 441-2022 or contact us online and request a free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Maryland Plaintiff Pursues Appeal Against Clothing Store After Trip and Fall Injury, Maryland Personal Injury Blog, published May 15, 2018

Evidence Regarding Hazardous Condition in Convenience Store Crucial in Maryland Premises Liability Case, Maryland Personal Injury Blog, published May 15, 2018