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Md. court upholds state cap on lawsuit payouts

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s highest court has upheld a state law that limits the amount of money people can receive for non-economic damages in personal injury lawsuits.

Judges on the Court of Appeals ruled against the parents of a 5-year-old boy who drowned at a Crofton swimming pool in 2006 when they upheld the cap on certain payouts in a Friday opinion.

Thomas Freed and Deborah Neagle Webber Freed were awarded roughly $4 million by a jury in a lawsuit filed after their son’s death, but the payment was reduced to about $1 million given Maryland’s limit on non-economic damages in personal injury cases.

The Freeds argued the cap was unconstitutional, but the court ruled there was a rational basis for implementing the cap because it was intended to assure the availability of affordable liability insurance.