Maryland’s Court of Appeals Rules on Applicability of Statute of Repose
MARYLAND — The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Court of Special Appeals in the matter of Duffy v. CBS Corporation, making two holdings relating to Maryland’s Statute of Repose. First, the court held that an injury related to asbestos exposure that underlies a cause of action for personal injury or wrongful death arises at the time of exposure. The court held that the “exposure approach,” as adopted by the Court in John Crane Inc. v. Scribner, 369 Md. 369, 383, 800 A.2d 727, 735 (2002), was applicable to determine if a party’s injuries or cause of action arose prior to the enactment of the statute of repose. Second, the court held that the estate’s causes of action were not barred by the statute of repose because the decedent’s injuries or causes of action arose from his unknowing exposure to asbestos, between May 3, 1970 and June 28, 1970, a period of time before the statute of repose was enacted. Further, as a matter of law, the court held that the statute of repose does not apply if the injury or the “last exposure undisputedly was before” the effective date of the statute.