In Maryland, whenever someone is injured on the property of a person, business, or government entity, the victim may be entitled to monetary compensation for their injuries through a Maryland premises liability lawsuit. Proving a premises liability lawsuit in Maryland requires a plaintiff to establish certain elements, which can vary depending on the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. For example, a “business invitee” is owed a higher duty of care than someone who enters another party’s land without permission.
Generally speaking, a Maryland premises liability plaintiff must prove that the landowner knew or should have known about the hazard but failed to take corrective action to remedy the harm. The plaintiff will also need to establish that they were unaware of the hazard that caused their injury. Importantly, a plaintiff must also specify the alleged act of negligence they claim caused their injury. A recent case illustrates how one plaintiff’s failure to include an additional theory of liability prevented him from arguing that theory on appeal.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was working with the defendant realtor to find an investment property. The defendant had a listing in mind that he thought would be a good fit for the plaintiff. The property had a pool in the back yard, which the defendant had arranged to be professionally serviced and then emptied prior to listing the property for sale.
When the plaintiff toured the home, he climbed atop the diving board to get a better view of what was beyond the home’s fence line. As he did so, the diving board broke, sending the plaintiff into the empty pool. The plaintiff was injured as a result and filed a premises liability lawsuit against the defendant, claiming that the diving board was an unreasonably unsafe condition that the defendant failed to remedy.
The trial court determined that the defect in the diving board was not reasonably apparent, and therefore the defendant did not have a duty to fix it. The plaintiff appealed to a higher court, this time arguing that the pool was an unreasonably dangerous condition.
The appellate court refused to consider the plaintiff’s appellate issue because he did not raise the issue at trial. The court explained that in order for it to consider an alleged legal error by a trial court, the party seeking reversal must have raised the issue at trial. Here, since the plaintiff’s initial claim was different from the issue raised on appeal, he was prevented from arguing his appellate issue, and his case was dismissed.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Slip-and-Fall Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience representing victims in a wide range of personal injury lawsuits, including slip-and-fall accidents. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney with Lebowitz & Mzhen today. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our time unless we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.
More Blog Posts:
Personal Injury Cases Based on Maryland Sports Injuries, Maryland Accident Law Blog, August 1, 2017.
Plaintiff’s Failure to Comply with Pre-Lawsuit Notice Results in Dismissal of Case, Maryland Accident Law Blog, September 1, 2017.