Statutes of Limitations in Maryland Tort Claims Act Cases

The Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA) was enacted in 1981. Under the Maryland Tort Claims Act, immunity is generally afforded to the state, and to state employees for their actions that are carried out without malice or gross negligence. Because it may apply in Maryland accident cases, understanding the statute, its limits, and its requirements, is extremely important.

Under the MTCA, a written claim against the state must be filed with the State Treasurer within one year of the cause of action arising. The claim must include a statement of facts and specific damages. If the Treasurer denies the claim, the case can be filed in court. However, it still must be filed within three years of when the cause of action arises. There are some exceptions to the rule, including if the State already had notice of the injury within the year after the cause of action accrued. In addition, filing a claim with the State Treasurer tolls the statute of limitations for 60 days after a final denial is made by the State Treasurer.

In a recent state appellate decision, the court considered whether another statute acted as an exception to the state’s tort claims act. Under the state’s act, there is a two-year statute of limitations for submitting claims to a state agency and also to file suit under the Act. If the state makes a final decision and denies the claim, the claimant has an additional six months from the date of mailing of the notice to file suit if the statute of limitations would expire before the end of that period.

The plaintiff, in that case, was an inmate in state custody who claimed that he was denied proper medical treatment after an assault. On September 12, 2012, he filed a claim with the state claims board. On October 19, 2012, the board denied the claim, which gave the plaintiff six months to file suit. On May 30, 2017, the plaintiff filed the claim in court. The issue before the state’s supreme court was whether another statute applied to an action under the state’s tort claims act. The plaintiff argued that another statute created an exception that granted an extension for filing suit. However, the court considered the plain language of the statute and determined that the clause did not apply to the state’s tort claims act, and accordingly, dismissed the suit because it was not timely filed. This case illustrates how strictly courts interpret the requirements of claims made against government entities.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Accident?

If you have been injured in an accident, contact an experienced Maryland injury attorney. The injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, have decades of combined experience representing accident victims in personal injury cases in Maryland and throughout the region. We handle Maryland car accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, and more. We will work with you and the other parties to attempt to resolve your claim as appropriately and quickly as possible. Our dedicated injury attorneys will fight for your rights and seek to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us at 800-654-1949 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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