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RULE 15-1001. WRONGFUL DEATH

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 15. Other Special Proceedings
Chapter 1000. Wrongful Death
MD Rules, Rule 15-1001
RULE 15-1001. WRONGFUL DEATH
(a) Applicability. This Rule applies to an action involving a claim for damages for wrongful death.
Committee note: Under Code, Courts Article, § 3-903 (a), if the wrongful act causing the decedent's death occurred in the District of Columbia or in another State or territory of the United States, a Maryland court must apply the substantive law of that jurisdiction. Under Code, Courts Article, § 3-903 (b), however, a Maryland court must apply the Maryland Rules of pleading and procedure. This Rule sets forth the pleading and procedural requirements particularly applicable to a wrongful death action filed in a Maryland court.
Cross reference: See Code, Courts Article, §§ 3-901 through 3-904, relating to wrongful death claims generally. See Code, Courts Article, § 3-905 (g) for the statute of limitations generally and § 5-201 (a) for statutes of limitations as to wrongful death claims involving minors, individuals under a disability, and actions arising from criminal homicide. See Code, Courts Article, § 5-806, relating to wrongful death claims between parents and children arising out of the operation of a motor vehicle. See also Code, Labor and Employment Article, § 9-901 et seq. relating to wrongful death claims when workers' compensation may also be available, and Code, Insurance Article, § 20-601, relating to certain wrongful death claims against the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund. See also Code, Estates and Trusts Article, § 8-103, relating to the limitation on presentation of claims against a decedent's estate.
(b) Required Plaintiffs. All persons who are or may be entitled by law to claim damages by reason of the wrongful death shall be named as plaintiffs whether or not they join in the action. The words “to the use of” shall precede the name of any person named as a plaintiff who does not join in the action.
(c) Complaint. The complaint shall state (1) the relationship of each plaintiff to the decedent whose death is alleged to have been caused by the wrongful act, (2) the last known address of each use plaintiff, and (3) that the party bringing the action conducted a good faith and reasonably diligent effort to identify, locate, and name as use plaintiffs all individuals who might qualify as use plaintiffs. The court may not dismiss a complaint for failure to join all use plaintiffs if the court finds that the party bringing the action made such a good faith and reasonably diligent effort.
(d) Notice to Use Plaintiff. The party bringing the action shall serve a copy of the complaint on each use plaintiff pursuant to Rule 2-121. The complaint shall be accompanied by a notice in substantially the following form:
[Caption of case]
NOTICE TO
[Name of Use Plaintiff]
You may have a right under Maryland law to claim an award of damages in this action. You should consult Maryland Code, § 3-904 of the Courts Article for eligibility requirements. Only one action on behalf of all individuals entitled to make a claim is permitted. If you decide to make a claim, you must file with the clerk of the court in which this action is pending a motion to intervene in the action in accordance with the Maryland Rules no later that the earlier of (1) the applicable deadline stated in § 3-904 (g) and § 5-201 (a) of the Courts Article [“the statutory deadline”] or (2) 30 days after being served with the complaint and this Notice if you reside in Maryland, 60 days after being served if you reside elsewhere in the United States, or 90 days after being served if you reside outside of the United States [“the served notice deadline”]. You may represent yourself, or you may obtain an attorney to represent you. If the court does not receive your written motion to intervene by the earlier of the applicable deadlines, the court may find that you have lost your right to participate in the action and claim any recovery.
(e) Waiver by Inaction.
(1) Definitions. In this section and in section (f) of this Rule, “statutory deadline” means the applicable deadline stated in Code, Courts Article, § 3-904 (g) and § 5-201 (a), and “served notice deadline” means the additional applicable deadline stated in the notice given pursuant to section (d) of this Rule.
(2) Failure to Satisfy Statutory Time Requirements. An individual who fails to file a complaint or motion to intervene by the statutory deadline may not participate in the action or claim a recovery.
(3) Other Late Filing. If a use plaintiff who is served with a complaint and notice in accordance with section (d) of this Rule does not file a motion to intervene by the served notice deadline, the use plaintiff may not participate in the action or claim any recovery unless, for good cause shown, the court excuses the late filing. The court may not excuse the late filing if the statutory deadline is not met.
(f) Subsequently Identified Use Plaintiff. Notwithstanding any time limitations contained in Rule 2-341 or in a scheduling order entered pursuant to Rule 2-504, if, despite conducting a good faith and reasonably diligent effort to identify, locate, and name all use plaintiffs, an individual entitled to be named as a use plaintiff is not identified until after the complaint is filed, but is identified by the statutory deadline, the newly identified use plaintiff shall be added by amendment to the complaint as soon as practicable and served in accordance with section (d) of this Rule and Rule 2-341 (d).
Source: This Rule is derived as follows:
Section (a) is derived from former Rule Q40.
Section (b) is derived from former Rule Q41 a.
Section (c) is derived in part from former Rule Q42 and is in part new.
Section (d) is new.
Section (e) is new.
Section (f) is new.

Credits

[Adopted June 5, 1996, eff. Jan. 1, 1997. Amended May 9, 2000, eff. July 1, 2000; Jan. 8, 2002, eff. Feb. 1, 2002; Oct. 4, 2012, eff. Jan. 1, 2013.]

Editors' Notes

HISTORICAL NOTES
2000 Orders
The May 9, 2000, order amended the cross reference following section (a).
2002 Orders
The January 8, 2002, order, amended the cross reference following section (a).
2012 Orders
The October 4, 2012, order added a Committee note following section (a); added to the cross reference following section (a) language concerning statutes of limitations; to reverse the order of sections (c) and (d); added language to section (c) requiring a good faith and reasonably diligent effort with respect to identifying, locating, and naming plaintiffs; added a specific form of notice to use plaintiffs; changed the procedure for service of the complaint and notice; added new section (e) providing for a waiver by inaction; added a new section (f) concerning use plaintiffs identified after a complaint is filed; and generally implemented holdings of the Court in University of Md. Medical Systems v. Muti, ___ Md. ___ (2012).
Derivation:
Maryland Rule of Procedure Q40, adopted Sept. 15, 1961, eff. Jan. 1, 1962, amended eff. July 1, 1974, related to the application of the Maryland Rules to wrongful death actions, rescinded June 5, 1996, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
Maryland Rule of Procedure Q41, adopted Sept. 15, 1961, eff. Jan. 1, 1962, related to plaintiffs in wrongful death actions, rescinded June 5, 1996, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
Maryland Rule of Procedure Q40, adopted Sept. 15, 1961, eff. Jan. 1, 1962, related to pleadings in wrongful death actions, rescinded June 5, 1996, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
MD Rules, Rule 15-1001, MD R SPEC P Rule 15-1001
Current with amendments received through November 15, 2019.
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