New CoA Opinion on Master/Agent

In Prince George’s County v. Brent, the Maryland Court of Appeals answers the question that will probably never be asked again: can you sue the agent after a successful case against the master? (Sneak preview: the answer is yes.)

The case involves an accident at the Branch Avenue (Route 5) and Allentown Road (Route 337) interchange in Prince George’s County against a police officer. Of course, when the Local Government Torts Claims Act is involved, plaintiffs’ accident lawyers have to navigate through more hurdles than Bristol Palin’s path to happiness. (Did you hear she is engaged? To Levi? Really, it’s true! I read it in US Weekly.)

So, bizarrely, the Plaintiff tried the case against PG County alone and got a $230,000 verdict. But the verdict was reduced by the procedural hodgepodge of Maryland Code ยง5-524 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article that limits the sovereign immunity waiver to the available insurance coverage in car accident cases. So Plaintiff goes back and gets a verdict against the police officer, trying the case solely on the issue of whether the police officer was responding to an emergency.

Really odd facts. It is a good case for plaintiffs, although I cannot imagine when anyone reading this will actually use the opinion. I’m surprised the Maryland Court of Appeals took the case. Read the case for the rest of the details.