SVF Riva Annapolis LLC v. GilroyAnnotate this Case
At issue was whether the possession and control exception to Maryland’s statute of repose, codified at Md. Code Cts. & Jud. Proc. (CJP) 5-108, which bars certain claims relating to injuries caused by improvements to real property, opens defendants to liability in cases that do not involve asbestos.
CJP 5-108(d)(2)(i) provides that the protections of the statute of repose shall not apply if the “defendant was in actual possession and control of the property as owner, tenant, or otherwise when the injury occurred….” The subsections (d)(2)(ii)-(iv) eliminate the statute’s protection for certain defendants where a claimed injury was caused by exposure to asbestos. Here, Plaintiffs filed a wrongful death action against Defendants, the owner and property manager of a shopping center, alleging that the defendants failed to warn the decedent, an HVAC repairman, that the wall he climbed and fell from had no roof access. Defendants moved for summary judgment arguing that Plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the statute of repose and that the possession and control exception applied only to asbestos cases. The circuit court greed and granted summary judgment for Defendants. The Court of Special Appeals reversed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the possession and control exception to the statute of repose applies in non-asbestos cases.