ANNAPOLIS – A lawyer has asked the Maryland Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision not to hold parents responsible for their adult son’s accident in a car they gave him.
In his motion, Baltimore attorney John T. Ward said the court’s decision meant that, “in Maryland, the owner of a car can supply it, by sale or gift, to a known drunk and have no liability whatsover to anyone when that drunk uses the car to kill or maim.”
The case was originally brought to court by Matilda Dorsey of rural Butler, who sustained serious injuries in the October 1992 accident on Falls Road in Baltimore County.
Dorsey sued the parents of Ronald Broadwater Jr., alleging they had negligently entrusted the car to their 26-year-old son, who had a history of drug use and reckless driving. The Broadwaters also live in Butler.
Dorsey won the case in the Baltimore County Circuit Court and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. But on Feb. 14, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision, ruling in favor of the Broadwaters.
Ward’s motion to reconsider is the only way to change the appeals court’s decision.
But Matthew S. Sturtz, who represents the Broadwaters, said the court’s unanimous decision was consistent with prior rulings, both here and in other states.
“Therefore, I don’t believe there is anything to reconsider,” Sturtz said. Robert C. Franke, the chief deputy clerk of the court, said such motions “are relatively common, but they usually meet with little or no success.” -30-