Hannon And The Co-Owners Essay

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Finally, in her opposition Byrne contends that there was a special relationship between Hannon and the Co-Owners because: 1) Hannon had formerly served on the Co-Owners’ board (Compl. ¶ 13); and 2) that because he—as well as all unit owners—are members of the Co-Owners, and therefore the Co-Owners are vicariously liable for Hannon’s conduct. (Compl. ¶ 4). Both arguments fail. First Byrne correctly articulates that the relevant question regarding the Co-Owners liability for Hannon’s criminal activity is “whether the person or entity sued had control over the conduct of the third party who caused the harm by virtue of some special relationship.” Warr, 433 Md. at 183 (emphasis added). Moreover, a “special relationship” is a term of art that has been held “as to: parent and child, master and servant, landowner and licensee, those in charge of persons with known dangerous propensities, and those who have custody of others. See Lamb…show more content…
On Target, Inc., 353 Md. 544 (1999) is distinguishable because in that case criminals stole firearms that were used in a murder from defendant. Byrne, however, fails to appreciate that the means by which the criminals came into possession of the firearms was not outcome determinative in that case. Indeed, supposed the criminals had purchased rather than stole the firearms at issue, and the well-established principles with regard to an individual’s liability for the criminal activity of a third party would nevertheless have still applied to compel the same result. Rather, the material fact in Valentine was that—similar to this case—was that the firearms distributor could not be liable for the criminal’s conduct unless the distributor had a means by which to control the conduct of the criminal. Likewise, in this case—irrespective of their prior relationship—the Co-Owners cannot be liable for Hannon’s criminal activities because they had no means by which to control Hannon’s

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