Case Law Dispatch: Espina v. Jackson

By Cory Bilton

Case: Espina v. Jackson

  • Court: Maryland Court of Appeals
  • Date of Decision: 3/30/15
  • Appellate Panel: Barbara, Harrell, Greene, Adkins, McDonald, Watts, McAuliffe


Prince George’s County police officer shot and killed plaintiff. Jury returned $11 million verdict for plaintiff’s family finding officer violated plaintiff’s state constitutional rights, assaulted and battered him, and wrongfully killed him.


(a) Whether damages arising from constitutional violations are limited by the Local Government Tort Claims Act (“LGTCA”)?

(b) Whether wrongful death claims and survival actions are considered separate and distinct under the LGTCA?


(a) The LGTCA limits damages recoverable against local government for violations of the state constitution. State constitutional violations are torts.

(b) For the purposes of the LGTCA damages cap, wrongful death claims and survival claims are considered collectively as one individual claim. The cap for a single claim is $200,000.

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