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Winning Only Half The Battle: Liability Without Damages

Posted by Joseph G. Cleaver
Joseph G. Cleaver
As a trial associate at Kramer & Connolly, Mr. Cleaver briefed and argued motions and tried cases throughout M...
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on November 29, 2012
in Legal News

In a lead paint trial earlier this month, a Baltimore City jury found a defendant landlord negligent, but declined to award damages to the plaintiffs. 

The case, captioned Tiffany P. Hope, et al. v. Estate of Sylvia Dackman, et al., represents an unusual result in the normally Plaintiff-friendly Baltimore City Circuit Court. 

In their Complaint, Plaintiffs alleged that the owners of the property where Plaintiffs resided as children were negligent in that they failed to inspect or maintain the property, thereby causing Plaintiffs to be exposed to lead paint chips, powder, and dust.  Plaintiffs alleged that they suffered permanent brain damage and other injuries as a result of the exposure.  As to the negligence of the property owner, the jury agreed with the Plaintiffs.  As to the alleged injuries, the jury did not.

Four days after the verdict, Plaintiffs moved for a new trial on the basis that the jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence.  The defendants opposed the motion.  The Court has yet to issue a ruling.  Unless the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion, Plaintiffs’ victory on liability will remain a hollow one.   

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As a trial associate at Kramer & Connolly, Mr. Cleaver briefed and argued motions and tried cases throughout Maryland, establishing a winning track record with careful preparation, research and aggressive advocacy.

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