Thomas G. WitkopLaw Offices

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Drug Dealers Can Be Liable for Civil Damages in Maryland

Maryland provides statutory law allowing the families of victims who overdose and die from drugs to bring a civil action against the drug dealer. In Courts and Judicial Proceedings 3-1601 etc. the Gen. assembly provides that "a civil action for damages for the death of an individual caused by the individual's use of a controlled dangerous substance may be brought under this subtitle by a parent, legal guardian, child, spouse or sibling of the individual." The plaintiff must prove that the controlled dangerous substance was manufactured, distributed, dispensed, brought into or transported in the state by the defendant drug dealer and was actually used by and was the proximate cause of the death individual.

The Gen. assembly went further.  Under the common law the drug dealer normally could argue that the victim assumed the risk of their injuries or was contributorily negligent. Section 3-1607 specifically prohibits that.

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