Articles Posted in Minors

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Very sad news coming out of Anne Arundel County , Maryland this morning. The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Ashley Nicole Meyers was “attempting to cross Ritchie Highway near Hamburg Street in Pasadena when she was struck by a northbound 1999 Nissan Sentra about 5:47 p.m” yesterday. Police are reporting that the child was wearing dark clothing at dusk and crossed the busy highway at a place not designated for pedestrian crossings. The girl was pronounced dead at Baltimore Washington Medical Center an hour later.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of both the child and the unnamed driver of the vehicle that struck her. There is no report-at this time-that drugs or alcohol played a part in this motor vehicl accident.

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When a minor (under 18 years of age) brings suit in Maryland for a personal injury, the lawyer will bring the suit under the “next friend”. This person is either the parent or the guardian of the minor.

Specifically, Md. Rule 2-202 (2006) provides that a parent has the exclusive authority to sue on behalf of his/her minor child for the period of one year of the accrual of the cause of action. After the period of one year and person “interested in the minor” shall have the right to institute suit on behalf of the minor.

While the parent as “next friend” is often the named Plaintiff in the case they are considered a non-party in the eyes of the court. Parker v. Housing Authority of Baltimore City, 129 Md. App. 482 (1999) (“The [next friend] is, in contemplation of law, admitted by the court to prosecute for the infant; though, according to the practice of our courts, never by any actual order passed for that purpose….Maryland Rule 2-423 does not authorize the circuit court to order an examination of a non-party next friend.”).

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