Limits on Maryland WMATA injuries are not limited to maximum recovery of $200k. Could this spell something bigger for catastrophically injured Marylanders?

Maryland's highest court ruled that the state's Tort Claims Act was inapplicable to a 2008 crash between a Metro bus and a motorcyclist. The case had been proceeding toward trial in federal court when the damage limitation issue came up and was certified to the state courts of appeal for clarification.

The Court of Special Appeals had ruled that the $200,000.00 per claim limitation was applicable and the Court of Appeals rightly reversed this finding.

This decision brought Maryland law in line with decisions in the WMATA regional partners Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Metro's charter specifically waves sovereign immunity for personal injury actions such as that involved in this case. The Court did rule that Maryland's non-economic damages cap would remain applicable.

This leads to the question, given this ruling what are the prospects for the "cap" being eliminated in the pending case of D.R.D. Pool service, Inc. v. Freed ?

The answer is not very good. Obviously the present case against Metro does not present a tragedy of the magnitude presented in the Freed case (a child drowned) but every time the highest court upholds the non-economic damages cap it adds precedential value to that unfairly punitive law.

Here is hoping the Court of Appeals sees the light and follows Georgia, Illinois and Wisconsin in recently overturning unconstitutional damages restrictions.