To establish a negligence claim in Maryland, the plaintiff must show proof of duty, breach, causation, and injury. Causation generally requires evidence that the defendant’s actions caused her injury. In a February 4, 2020 opinion, the Court of Special Appeals reviewed the evidence of causation in a personal injury claim. The issue was brought on appeal by the plaintiff after the lower court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants in a Maryland slip and fall case.
The plaintiff in the case had filed a legal action against the owners of a seafood restaurant. The plaintiff alleged in her Complaint that she slipped and fell while patronizing the defendants’ restaurant. She asserted that, as a result of the fall, she suffered injuries including chronic neck pain and numbness and pain in her hands. The plaintiff sought damages for her injuries, which she argued were caused by the defendants’ negligence.
Before trial, the defendants moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff could not prove the elements of causation or damages. They pointed out that the plaintiff’s medical records were not certified and did not contain any statements by any of her doctors that her injuries were caused by the slip and fall accident. Nor did the plaintiff have an expert witness to testify as to causation. In addition, the plaintiff did not provide any medical bills for treatment and expenses related to her injuries. The lower court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, and the plaintiff appealed.