We all know non-economic damages arising out of negligence claims, whether common negligence or medical malpractice, are subject to caps – even if there are different caps for each. But, do caps apply to intentional torts?
In 1996, the Court of Special Appeals decided in Cole v. Sullivan, that caps did not apply to intentional tort claims. Fast forward 22 years …
Recently, in Rodriguez v. Cooper, the Court of Appeals of Maryland reversed the Cole decision and held that non-economic damages caps do apply to intentional torts.
Therefore, whether Steve intentionally or accidentally hit John with his car is irrelevant to the amount of non-economic compensation John can get. Of course, John can still seek punitive damages in the intentional tort context, but then there are real questions about whether insurance will cover such a claim.
Bottom Line: Whether the injury happened because of mere negligence or because of an intentional act, the ability of a party to recover non-economic damages is capped in Maryland.