Maryland Court of Appeals Affirms No Dram Shop Liability in Maryland

In a 4-3 vote the Maryland Court of Appeals again held that the state does not recognize a cause of action for dram shop liability.    This case involved a tragedy following overservice at an account in Montgomery County.   The trial court initially refused the bar’s motion to dismiss, but later granted summary judgement for the defendant bar noting that the trial court was bound by stare decisis.  The trial court noted that Maryland Legislature had not authorized a cause of action for dram shop, but noted they had not prohibited it either.

The Court of Appeals noted that the creation of liability at this point would need to be made in the state legislature as the courts have already ruled.  A copy of the decision is here.   It is expected that this will be an issue in the next legislative session in Maryland.

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