New Standard Would Upend Longstanding Contributory Negligence Principle

MACo Policy and Legal Counsel Les Knapp testified in opposition to Senate Bill 465, “Civil Actions – Motor Vehicle Accidents Involving Pedestrians or Nonmotorized Vehicles – Comparative Negligence”, before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on February 6, 2018.

This bill would upend a part of Maryland’s long-established contributory negligence standard as it seeks to create a comparative fault standard for accidents involving nonmotorized vehicles (such as bicycles). It would also create a system of unbalanced liability and create significant burdens on local governments.

From MACo Testimony:

Maryland has considered and rejected moving to a comparative fault system numerous times. SB 465 is yet another proposal that does not address the related support structures that make contributory negligence work, but would instead lead to an unbalanced comparative fault system.”

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.