Thursday, March 8, 2007

Miller v. Mandarin Homes, Ltd. (Maryland U.S.D.C.) (Not Approved for Publication)

Signed February 28, 2007 -- Memorandum Opinion by Judge Catherine C. Blake. (Not approved for publication).

Held: Plaintiffs' Motion to Modify Scheduling Order was denied, and defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment granted. Plaintiffs had not provided sufficient evidence to establish their claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act ("CERCLA").

In this case, plaintiffs had alleged a violation of CERCLA, claiming that the developer, Mandrin Homes ("Mandrin") and agent, Champion Realty ("Champion") knew or should have known that the house sold to the plaintiffs was part of a solid and hazardous waste dump. Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment claiming that plaintiffs had failed to prove (1) that a landfill existed near their property (2) that hazardous materials were released on the property, or (3) that any such release caused plaintiffs' injuries.

The Court found the affidavit of plaintiffs' expert to be speculative, using words like "consistent with," and "indicative," and "may" instead of attesting to the actual facts as being more likely so than not to a reasonable degree of professional certainty. In addition, plaintiffs' expert was not a medical doctor and was not otherwise qualified to testify to medical causation.

The Court declined to grant plaintiffs additional time to conduct discovery, finding that they had shown no good cause for such an extension.

This memorandum opinion is available in PDF

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