In some Maryland personal injury cases, the parties will resolve their claims before trial by a settlement agreement. Occasionally, an issue may arise, as in a September 30, 2020 case before the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. The case involved a negligence claim against a hotel, and a settlement offer from the hotel’s insurance company.
The plaintiff in the case had filed a negligence suit against the hotel, alleging that she suffered personal injuries as a result of its negligence. Prior to trial, the insurance adjuster for the hotel offered to pay the plaintiff $18,000 to settle her personal injury claims. One day into the trial, counsel for the plaintiff informed the insurance adjuster that the plaintiff would be willing to accept $21,500. The insurance adjuster declined, but confirmed that the $18,000 offer was still on the table.
The trial continued, and the plaintiff closed her case without calling any witnesses. During the lunch recess, the plaintiff’s counsel informed the defendant that the plaintiff accepted the offer of $18,000 from its insurance company. Counsel for the defense then contacted the insurance adjuster, who stated that the offer was no longer available. The next day, the jury returned a verdict finding that the hotel was not negligent.