Rodriguez v. Cooper

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The Court of Appeals agreed with the lower courts that Petitioners’ arguments seeking to avoid the application of the caps in the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA) and Md. Code Cts. & Jud. Proc. (CJ) 11-108, as well as the doctrine of sovereign immunity, were without merit. Petitioners were the estate and parents of a State prisoner who was murdered by a fellow prisoner. Petitioners brought suit against the State and various State officials and employees. Petitioners obtained a judgment against the State based on the jury’s finding that certain correctional officers were negligent and a judgment against one correctional officer based on the jury’s finding that he was grossly negligent. The circuit court limited the judgment against the correctional officer pursuant to the cap on noneconomic damages in CJ 11-108 and declined to include the State in the judgment against the correctional officer because the waiver of the State’s sovereign immunity in the MTCA does not extend to actions or omissions that are grossly negligent. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgments of the lower courts, holding that Petitioners were not entitled to relief on their claims. View "Rodriguez v. Cooper" on Justia Law