Appointed by House Speaker:
Kathleen M. Dumais, Chair (410) 841-3487, (301) 858-3487

Staff: April M. Morton; Douglas R. Nestor; Robert K. Smith.

c/o Department of Legislative Services
Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 946-5350, (301) 970-5350

In November 2016, the House Speaker convened the Punitive Damages Work Group. Under Maryland law, punitive damages are only permissible in narrow categories of cases. Such damages do not compensate victims, but rather seek to punish or deter bad behavior. Because legislation had been introduced and considered by the General Assembly that would expand punitive damages, particularly in drunk driving cases, the Work Group was charged with reviewing Maryland's tort law and determining whether the current structure concerning punitive damages should be expanded or limited. The Work Group also was to compare Maryland's structure with that of other states; review the opportunities under law for treble and compensating damages; and determine the impact on insurance consumers of any expansion or limitation of punitive and treble damages.

The Work Group submitted its final report to the General Assembly in February 2017.

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