Murdock v. ThorneAnnotate this Case
Arthur Murdock, a police officer, was attempting to cut across two eastbound lanes of traffic and into a parking lot when his police cruiser was struck by another vehicle traveling in the outside eastbound lane from behind where Martin Thorne’s car was stopped in traffic. Murdock filed a four-count complaint alleging, as relevant to this appeal, negligence claims against Thorne and underinsured motorist (UM) claims against his employer, the Maine department of Public Safety (DPS). The superior court granted summary judgment for DPS and Thorne. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) because Murdock failed to make a prima facie showing that Thorne’s “wave-on” gesture was the proximate cause of his injuries, Thorne was entitled to summary judgment on Murdock’s negligence claim; and (2) because Murdock’s UM claim against DPS was predicated upon his negligence claim against Thorne, summary judgment was properly granted in favor of DPS.
Court Description: Corrected July 25, 2017 (Errata sheet)