United States District Court, D. Maryland
CHERYL KRAJCSIK, et el. Plaintiffs
CECIL RAMSEY, et ux. Defendants
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: SUMMARY JUDGMENT
J. GARBIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court has before it the Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment [ECF No. 20] and the materials submitted relating
thereto. The Court has held a hearing and had the benefit of
the arguments of counsel.
August 10, 2014, Plaintiffs Cheryl and Robert Krajcsik
(“Plaintiffs”) and Defendants Cecil and Sarah Ramsey
(“Defendants”) were in their respective boats
moored in the Eastern Yacht Club Marina on the Middle River
in Essex, Maryland. They intended to take their boats to
Strawberry Point and enjoy a day of swimming.
Krajcsiks departed the marina basin first in their Sea Ray
Sundancer (the “Sundancer”). At some point, they
realized that the Defendants had not left the marina and
stopped to determine why. Mrs. Krajcsik spoke on the
telephone to Mrs. Ramsey and was informed that the
Ramsey's 330 Mariner (the “Mariner”) had
steering problems and was stopped outside the marina. Mrs.
Ramsey said she had called for a towboat to come and tow the
Mariner back to the marina. However, after fifteen minutes,
Mrs. Krajcsik had not seen any towboat arriving and made a
second telephone call to Mrs. Ramsey. Because the parties
present different versions of the second call, the Court must
assume for present purposes that Plaintiffs' version is
the correct one. That is, that Plaintiffs, Mr. and Mrs.
Krajcsik, believed that the Defendants' Mariner was
drifting “dangerously close to a rock jetty” and
considered the Mariner to be in danger. [ECF No. 23] at 2.
With Defendants' permission, the Plaintiffs decided to
attempt to rescue the Mariner.
rescue effort, planned by Plaintiffs, called for Plaintiffs
to move their boat, the Sundancer, adjacent to the Mariner,
to tie the two vessels together, and to use the
Sundancer's power to tow the Mariner away from the rocks
and back to the marina.
Krajcsik maneuvered the Sundancer next to the Mariner and
Mrs. Krajcsik held out a line to Mrs. Ramsey. Mr. Ramsey
jumped from the Mariner onto the Sundancer and proceeded to
tie the two boats together from the Sundancer's bow to
the Mariner's stern. Mr. Krajcsik testified that there
were lines on both the front and back of the Plaintiffs'
Sundancer going over to the Defendants' Mariner. R.
Krajcsik Dep. at 31-32 [ECF No. 23-2]. While Mrs. Krajcsik
was standing on the gunwale of the Sundancer, Mr. Krajcsik
made an announcement: he “you know informed everybody,
you know, hold on. We're pretty much tied up. I'm
going to put the vessel in reverse and back us away slowly
from the hazard.” Id. at 32.
time of this announcement, Mr. Krajcsik did not suggest that
his wife move from her location on the Sundancer's
gunwale adjacent to the side of the Defendants' Mariner.
Id. at 33. Mr. Krajcsik put the Sundancer in reverse
and the boat slowly drifted back. At this time, an unexpected
wave, possibly from a passing boat, came through and affected
the two boats. The side of the Sundancer dropped, and the
Mariner heaved upwards. The gunwale of the Mariner came down
over the gunwale of the Sundancer, made contact with Mrs.
Krajcsik's leg, and crushed her big toe. Mrs.
Krajcsik's toe eventually required amputation.
Amended Complaint [ECF No. 32], the Plaintiffs present their
claims in two counts:
Count One: Negligence (Both Plaintiffs)
Count Two: Loss of Consortium (Mr. Krajcsik) By the instant
motion, Defendants seek summary judgment in regard to all
claims presented. [ECF No. 20].
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
motion for summary judgment shall be granted if the pleadings
and supporting documents show “there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
well-established principles pertinent to summary judgment
motions can be distilled to a simple statement: The Court may
look at the evidence presented in regard to a motion for
summary judgment through the non-movant's rose-colored
glasses, but must view it realistically. After so doing, the
essential question is whether a reasonable fact-finder could
return a verdict for the non-movant or whether the movant
would, at trial, be entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
See, e.g., Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 ...