Friday, March 30, 2007

MALDONADO v. MILLSTONE ENTERPRISES, INC., et al. (Maryland U.S.D.C.)(Not approved for publication)

Decided February 23, 2007—Opinion by Judge William Connelly

Plaintiff Maldonado alleged that Defendants caused injuries to him through the negligent failure to provide safe maintenance of a material hoist, failure to use reasonable care to discover and correct unsafe conditions on the material hoist, and failure to adequately warn of a hazardous and dangerous condition which Defendants knew or should have known existed. In considering defense motions for summary judgment, the Court struck Plaintiff’s expert report because it lacked an affidavit verifying its authenticity. The Court also found inadmissible an unsworn memorandum from an NSA safety specialist.

Because this case concerned the malfunction of complex machinery, the Court determined that the Plaintiff was precluded from relying on the doctrine of res ipsa locquitur and without expert testimony the Plaintiff was unable to establish a prima facie case. The Court added that even if the expert's opinion letter was admissible, it would not create a genuine issue of material fact because it was based on the inadmissible NSA memorandum and the expert himself had never examined the material hoist. Therefore the Court entered an order granting summary judgment in favor of the Defendants.

The opinion and order are available in PDF.

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