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Schrier v. Beltway Alarm Company

Maryland Court of Special Appeals
533 A.2d 1316 (1987)


Facts

Eugene and Sheila Schrier (plaintiffs) were principal shareholders in a corporation that operated a liquor store. Eugene also worked in the liquor store. The corporation entered into an agreement with Beltway Alarm Company (defendant) for an alarm system for the liquor store. The contract contained a limitation-of-liability provision limiting Beltway Alarm’s total liability to $250 or the total of six monthly payments under the contract, whichever is less. This limitation-of-liability provision was also referred to as a liquidated-damages provision in the contract. The contract permitted the Schriers to pay a higher premium in order to increase the limitation on liability, but the Schriers did not do so. While the contract was in effect, the liquor store was robbed. Eugene activated two alarm buttons, but the robber shot and severely wounded Eugene. The Schriers sued Beltway Alarm, alleging negligence, breach of contract, and breach of warranty. The Schriers alleged that Beltway Alarm delayed notifying the police by 14 minutes and that the shooting would not have occurred if the police had been timely notified. Beltway Alarm filed a motion for summary judgment with regard to any claim for more than $250, in accordance with the limitation-of-liability provision. The trial court granted the motion, and the Schriers appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Alpert, J.)

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