Naughton v. Bankier
Maryland Court of Special Appeals
691 A.2d 712 (1997)
During the summer of 1990, Major Richard Naughton (plaintiff), a New York resident, and Jacques Bankier (defendant), a Maryland resident, occupied neighboring beach houses in Dewey Beach, Delaware, and engaged in childish water balloon battles. As a prank, and while he was under the influence of a disputed amount of alcohol, Bankier and two cohorts used a toy similar to an eight-foot slingshot to propel a water balloon through an open window into Naughton’s residence, where Naughton was struck and injured his eye. Naughton sued Bankier in a state court in Maryland and filed a claim for punitive damages. Bankier alleged that Maryland’s cap on noneconomic damages applied and filed a motion to dismiss Naughton’s claim for punitive damages. Naughton argued that Delaware law, which had no such cap, should apply. The trial court held the motion until the close of the evidence and ruled that the issue of punitive damages would not be submitted to the jury. Naughton appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Thieme, J.)
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