Maryland Chamber President & CEO Kathy Snyder, CCE will testify today before the House Judiciary Committee against legislation that would drastically alter Maryland’s tort laws by imposing a variation of market share liability. This legal theory is fundamentally unfair because it severs the need for a person claiming injury to demonstrate that a defendant caused the injury.
The bill, HB 1156, would allow an individual to sue companies that formerly manufactured lead pigment in lead-based paint for the cost of abating lead paint hazards in residential dwellings in Baltimore City. Passage of this legislation would unfairly expose Maryland businesses to large claims for damages for a product that was legal when it was sold.
This legislation would allow for joint and several liability for manufacturers that are sued for damages. Therefore, a company that may have had little lead paint product in the market could be responsible for paying all of the damages in an award.
HB 1156 would damage Baltimore City’s business climate because no other jurisdiction in the country has enacted similar legislation.