Toms v. Calvary Assembly of God
Maryland Court of Appeals
446 Md. 543 (2015)
The Calvary Assembly of God (Church) (defendant) obtained a permit from Frederick County, Maryland to discharge fireworks. The fireworks display occurred on September 9, 2012. The display was supervised by a deputy fire marshal, and no misfires or malfunctions occurred. Andrew Toms (plaintiff) operated a dairy farm on property next to the fireworks display. The noise from the fireworks scared the cattle and caused a stampede. This resulted in the death of four cows and property damage. Toms sued the Church, alleging that the fireworks display was an abnormally dangerous activity and, therefore, that the Church was strictly liable for any damages resulting from the discharge of the fireworks. The trial court ruled for the Church, and the appellate court affirmed. Toms petitioned the Maryland Supreme Court for review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Greene, J.)
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