Shafer v. Interstate Auto Ins. Co.., 166 Md. App. 358, 888 A.2d 1211 (2005)

James Michael Connolly

Case Conclusion Date:December 23, 2005

Practice Area:Appeals

Outcome:Summary Judgment in favor of UM Carrier

Description:A motorcyclist and his passenger were traveling on I-70 near Hagerstown when the rear tire of the motorcycle blew out. The sudden deflation of the tire caused the motorcycle to overturn and spewed the driver and his passenger on the highway. Following the accident, a small piece of rusted sheet metal was recovered from the tire. Claiming that the metal had corroded and had fallen to the roadway from a unidentifed, improperly maintained motor vehicle, the passenger asserted an uninsured motorist ("UM") claim against her insurer. At the conclusion of discovery, the UM carrier moved for summary judgment in its favor. Finding that there was no evidence to show that the owner or operator of the vehicle from which the metal piece allegedly fell breached his duty of inspection, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the UM carrier. Affirming the trial court's judgment, Maryland's Court of Special Appeals held that plaintiff had failed to present any facts that would allow for a reasonable conclusion that whoever or whatever caused the metal to be in the roadway did so as a result of a negligent act. As a result, the trial court property entered judgment in favor of the insurer.