Individual States 

MARYLAND

ASSUMPTION OF RISK

Affirmative defense of assumption of risk is a complete bar to recovery. Assumption of risk is a defense in strict liability and negligence actions. Ellsworth v. Sherne Lingerie, Inc., 495 A.2d 348 (Md. 1985) .

Assumption of risk is distinguished from contributory negligence. Kasten Construction Co. v. Evans, 273 A.2d 90 (1971) .

CAPS ON NONECONOMIC DAMAGES

In any action for damages for personal injury or wrongful death in which the cause of action arises on or after October 1, 1994, an award for non-economic damages may not exceed $500,000. This limitation on non-economic damages shall increase by $15,000 on October 1 of each year beginning on October 1, 1995. The increased amount shall apply to causes of action arising between October 1 of that year and September 30 of the following year, inclusive. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §11-108 .

In a wrongful death action in which there are two or more claimants or beneficiaries, an award for non-economic damages may not exceed 150 percent of the limitation above, regardless of the number of claimants or beneficiaries who share in the award. John Crane, Inc. v. Scriber, 800 A.2d 727 (Md. 2002) .

COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.

COMPARATIVE FAULT

Contributory negligence is a defense in negligence actions that will completely bar recovery. Moran v. Faberge, Inc., 273 Md. 538 (1975) .

Contributory negligence is not a defense in strict liability actions. Ellsworth v. Sherne Lingerie, Inc., 495 A.2d 348 (Md. 1985)

ECONOMIC LOSS

A purchaser suffering only economic loss is ordinarily unable to bring a tort action. However, purchasers claiming physical injury or harm to tangible things generally may recover under negligence or strict liability in tort. A.J. Decoster Co. v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 333 Md. 245 (1994) .

There is an exception for cases involving extreme danger and imminent risk of clear danger of death or serious personal injury. To determine whether this exception applies, the court examines both the nature of the damage threatened and the probability of the damage occurring. Morris v. Osmose Wood Pres., 340 Md. 519 (1995) .

Where a dangerous condition is discovered before it results in injury, an action in negligence will lie for the recovery of the reasonable cost of correcting the condition. Council of Co-Owners Atlantis Condo., Inc. v. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., 308 Md. 18 (Md. 1986) .

JOINT & SEVERAL LIABILITY

Compensatory award is joint and several, while punitive award is several only. Owens-Illinois, Inc. v. Armstrong, 604 A.2d 47 (Md. 1992) .

PUNITIVE DAMAGES

In a personal injury action, the financial condition of defendant is only admissible after a finding of liability supporting an award of punitive damages. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §10-913 .

To maintain a claim for punitive damages, malice must be established clearly and convincingly. Darcars Motors of Silver Springs, Inc. v. Borzym, 841 A.2d 828 (Md. 2004) .

Punitive damages are not recoverable under the wrongful death statute. Cohen v. Rubin, 460 A. 2d 1046 (Md. 1983) .

RIGHT TO CONTRIBUTION

The right of contribution exists among joint tortfeasors, but is not entitled to a money judgment for contribution until the joint tortfeasor paid and discharged the common liability, or has paid more than a pro rata share of the common liability. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §3-1402(a) and (b) .

A joint tortfeasor who enters into a settlement with the injured person is not entitled to recover contribution from another joint tortfeasor whose liability to the injured person is not extinguished by the settlement. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §3-1402(c) .

The recovery of a judgment by the injured person against one joint tortfeasor does not discharge the other joint tortfeasor. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §3-1403 .

A release by the injured person of one joint tortfeasor, whether before or after judgment, does not discharge the other tortfeasors unless the release so provides, but it reduces the claim against the other tortfeasors in the amount of the consideration paid for the release or in any amount or proportion by which the release provides that the total claim shall be reduced, if greater than the consideration paid. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §3-1404 .

A release by the injured person of one joint tortfeasor does not relieve the joint tortfeasor from liability to make contribution to another joint tortfeasor unless the release is given before the right of the other tortfeasor to secure a money judgment for contribution has accrued. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §3-1405 .

SPECIAL DEFENSES

Maryland provides for a "sealed container" defense for the seller in a products liability action. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-405 .

Supplier has no duty to warn all potential users if it is reasonable to rely on the purchaser/employer to warn its employees. Kennedy v. Mobay Corp., 579 A.2d 1191 (Md. 1990) .

Subsequent remedial measures are not admissible to prove culpable conduct in strict liability actions. Troja v. Black & Decker Mfg. Co., 488 A.2d 516 (1985) .

STATUTES OF LIMITATION

Property actions action must be filed within three years of date the action accrues unless otherwise provided in the code. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-101 .

Personal injury actions action must be filed within three years of date the action accrues unless otherwise provided in the code. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §5-101 .

Breach of warranty action must be brought within four years. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §2-725 .

Wrongful death actions must be brought within three years, except where "occupational disease" caused death. If an occupational disease was a cause of a person's death, an action shall be filed within ten years of the time of death; or within three years of the date when the cause of death was discovered, whichever is the shorter. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §3-904(g) .

STATUTES OF REPOSE

There is no statute of repose for product liability actions in Maryland.

STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT

In any action for damages for personal injury or wrongful death, the court or the health claims arbitration panel may order that all or part of the future economic damages portion of the award be paid in the form of annuities or other appropriate financial instruments, or that it be paid in periodic or other payments consistent with the needs of the plaintiff, funded in full by the defendant or the defendant's insurer and equal when paid to the amount of the future economic damages award. Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §11-109 .