Maryland Rule 2-404 allows for a party to collect and preserve evidence from a potential defendant or third parties prior to the filing of a lawsuit. As we all know, memories fade with time and physical evidence sometimes is lost or destroyed. In cases where there is a risk that evidence will be lost, it is important to preserve it. Maryland Rule 2-404 allows a plaintiff without filing a formal lawsuit to depose parties, demand the production of documents, inspect tangible property and land, and conduct a physical or mental examination.
I used this procedure to compel the inspection of a trampoline. My pre-teenage client had broken her ankle while using a trampoline with 3 other girls at a friend’s home. We claimed that homeowners had not properly supervised their guests’ use of the trampoline.
By inspecting the trampoline, I was able to photograph the warning labels on the trampoline.
The warning label on the bed of the trampoline states: “Do not
attempt or allow somersaults (flips)” and “Do not allow more than one person on the trampoline”. This was decisive evidence in resolving the case.