Woodward, C.J., Eyler, Deborah S., Graeff, JJ.
appeal arises from an automobile accident that occurred on
May 23, 2014. On that date, 18-year-old Lauren Abrishami
("Lauren"), appellee, who was operating a motor
vehicle owned by her mother, Brigitte Abrishami ("Ms.
Abrishami"), also an appellee, struck pedestrian Judith
Woolridge, appellant, as Ms. Woolridge attempted to cross the
street. Ms. Woolridge filed suit in the Circuit Court for
Montgomery County alleging negligence against Lauren and
negligent entrustment against Ms. Abrishami. The court ultimately granted Ms.
Abrishami's motion for summary judgment and proceeded
with a jury trial regarding the negligence claim against
Lauren. At the conclusion of trial, the jury found that
Lauren was negligent, but it also found that Ms. Woolridge
was contributorily negligent, thereby precluding recovery.
appeal, Ms. Woolridge raises four questions for our review,
which we have rephrased, as follows:
1. Did the circuit court err in allowing Lauren to raise the
defense of contributory negligence at trial?
2. Was the evidence sufficient to submit the issue of Ms.
Woolridge's contributory negligence to the jury?
3. Did the circuit court err in denying Ms. Woolridge's
request for a special jury instruction on a pedestrian's
right of way in crossing at an intersection?
4. Did the circuit court err in granting summary judgment in
favor of Ms. Abrishami on the issue of negligent entrustment?
reasons set forth below, we shall affirm the judgment of the
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
5, 2015, Ms. Woolridge filed a three-count Complaint. In
Count I, Ms. Woolridge alleged that, as she was
"crossing the street in a crosswalk at Main Street and
Market Street East . . . in Gaithersburg, Maryland, "
Lauren negligently made a left turn and struck her, causing
injuries. Count III alleged that Ms. Abrishami negligently
entrusted Lauren with her vehicle. In their Answer, Lauren and Ms. Abrishami
asserted several affirmative defenses, including that
"Plaintiff was contributorily negligent."
29, 2015, the court issued an "Order for Mandatory
Settlement Conference/Pretrial Hearing." It scheduled a
pretrial settlement conference and a pretrial hearing on
February 18, 2016, and directed the parties to prepare a
written joint pretrial statement, which "shall contain,
" among other things, "a concise statement of all
claims and defenses which that party is submitting for
trial." The order further directed
the parties to identify each pattern jury instruction that
the parties intended to offer at trial, with an indication of
those agreed upon and those not agreed upon.
Joint Pretrial Statement filed with the court on February 18,
2016, provided, in relevant part, as follows:
1. Nature of the Case: The instant action arises out
of a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident that occurred on May
23, 2014. The Plaintiff is making a claim for personal
injuries and damages related to the incident. The Plaintiff
contends Defendant Lauren Abrishami was negligent in the
operation of her vehicle.
Claims and/or Defenses
A) Plaintiff: The Plaintiff claims
Defendant, Lauren Abrishami, was negligent in the operation
of her vehicle, thereby causing the accident and
Plaintiff's injuries, including a tibial plateau fracture
that required surgical intervention. The Plaintiff has
continuing difficulties walking and kneeling, and any
activity requiring use of her left leg, with daily pain. The
injury to her leg is permanent. The Plaintiff's medical
bills total $56, 232.51 to date, and lost income of
approximately $2, 719.54.
B) Defendant: The Defendant denies the
nature and extent of Plaintiff's injuries and permanency.
4. Disputed Issues: Except as set forth above, all
issues of liability and damages are in dispute.
did not include a proposed jury instruction on contributory
negligence in the pretrial statement. She did state, however,
that she would propose "[a]dditional instructions to be
submitted at trial to conform to the evidence, " and she
reserved the right to "request additional jury
instructions based upon the evidence at
discovery, Ms. Woolridge asked about Lauren's claim of
contributory negligence. Specifically, Plaintiff's
Interrogatory Number 8 asked:
State the manner in which you say the accident complained of
happened, giving the various speeds, positions, directions
and locations of all vehicles involved in the said accident
during their approach to, at the time of, and immediately
following the happening, and in so doing, describe how the
Party propounding these Interrogatories, or any person or
party, or its agent(s) or employee(s) was negligent or caused
or contributed to the happening of the occurrence. Include in
a. How fast were you traveling 200 feet before the accident?
100 feet before the accident? 50 feet before the accident?
b. At the time you first observed the Plaintiff, identify the
Plaintiff's location, the location of your car from the
Plaintiff, and your speed.
c. Set forth your route and movements, for the last three
blocks leading up to the accident, including in your answer
any stops, turns, lane changes and the like which occurred
during that time.
record reflects that Lauren initially provided to opposing
counsel an unsigned response, stating: "I stopped at the
stop sign and began to make a left from Main Street onto
Market Street. As I made the turn, I was distracted, talking
to my cousin and did not see the Plaintiff right away, as
soon as I did, I slammed on my brakes but it was too late and
I hit the Plaintiff."
23, 2016, the day of trial, Lauren provided signed answers,
containing the following amended response: "See the
Defendant's discovery deposition dated October 5, 2015,
at page 40." This portion of
Lauren's deposition provided:
Q. Can you tell me in your best recollection how did the
A. I was - I turned to make the left and I didn't see her
and Taylor saw her at the last second. She said "Slow
down, " and I slammed on my brakes from 10 miles per
hour to about 1 mile per hour, and then I tapped her, and
then she fell.
Q. Okay. So I'm going to back you up to the stop sign.
Did you come to a complete stop at the stop sign?
A. Yes, before the white line.
Q. And how long would you say you stopped for?
A. Three seconds.
Q. Were there any other cars as you stopped there for that
three seconds? Do you remember seeing any other cars around?
Q. But you stopped for three seconds. Did you see any people
her October 5, 2015, deposition, however, Lauren also was
asked whether she was aware of anything Ms. Woolridge
"could have done to avoid being hit." Lauren
responded: "I wasn't aware of like where she was
situated and if she looked both ways. I'm not sure."
She did note, however, that as she slowed the vehicle, Ms.
Woolridge "just like stood there. She didn't
the time that discovery was proceeding, Ms. Abrishami filed a
motion for summary judgment on the claims against her.
Counsel for Ms. Abrishami argued that, although Lauren had
been driving for only a year, there was not enough evidence
to submit to the jury the claim that Ms. Abrishami was
negligent in entrusting Lauren to operate the vehicle.
Counsel asserted that, although Lauren had one prior
"very minor incident, " where Lauren hit a curb
after her dog climbed on her while she was driving, Ms.
Abrishami took corrective action and advised Lauren not to
drive with the dog in the car. Thus, counsel stated, Ms.
Abrishami had no reason to believe that Lauren would be
involved in an accident, and based on Lauren's
"completely clear" driving record, an accident was
for Ms. Woolridge responded that, in a negligent entrustment
claim, three factors must be considered: "youth,
inexperience or otherwise, " and it is a
"fact-based determination" for the jury. Counsel
argued that Lauren, a teenage driver, had been driving less
than a year, did not drive the vehicle regularly, and
previously had been in an accident while distracted. The
accident involving Ms. Woolridge was "another distracted
driving scenario as you had with the dogs, " and Ms.
Abrishami "should have implemented some additional
driver training, restrictions, something on this girl, on
for Ms. Abrishami argued that, contrary to Ms.
Woolridge's focus on Lauren's youth and inexperience,
the question was whether Lauren had dangerous propensities
and Ms. Abrishami knew of those propensities and should have
her deposition, Lauren testified that the prior accident
occurred in May 2015. She got her driver's license in her
senior year of high school, after taking a driver's
education class. She took the bus to school, however, and in
May 2014, she drove "[f]or errands mostly, " and
she "rarely left the house." Lauren had not
received any traffic tickets prior to the accident involving
granting summary judgment on the negligent entrustment claim,
the court stated as follows:
Regarding the issue of negligent entrustment, so I would say
that generally these cases come down to a dispute of material
fact where the jury would have to decide whether or not
there's evidence that the mother knew of these dangerous
propensities of the daughter driving.
In this case, the evidence that has been presented to me that
would be presented to the jury is that the driver had
previously been involved in an incident where while driving a
car a dog jumped in her lap and that caused her to, as a
result of that, she swerved or she drove the car in a manner
that resulted in a scratch on the side of, the passenger side
of the car. No evidence that the car was damaged in any other
way, no evidence that there was a requirement that the car be
repaired and the evidence is that when the mother found out
about the, how the ...