JOSEPH ANTONIO; BULAN JULES-ANTONIO; MICHAEL CLARK; CAROLYN CLARK; THOMAS COOPER; ANGEL FOUNTAIN-COOPER; GREG GIBBS; NATALIE GIBBS; GEORGE HALEY; YVONNE HALEY; JACQUE HIGHTOWER; DAWN HIGHTOWER; KHARI JACKSON; BELINDA JACKSON; HAROLD JEWETT; CYNTHIA JEWETT; MICHAEL JOHNSON; CRYSTAL JOHNSON; JAGATH KANKANAMAGE; KETH KANKANAMAGE; KEITH ROBINSON; TAKEYSHA ROBINSON; EVERTON ROWE; BEVERLY ROWE; ERIK SMITH; SHARON SMITH; LEONARD SWOOPES; EVORA SWOOPES; KENDALL WALKER; SAMANTHA WALKER, Plaintiffs - Appellants, and DERRICK POTTS; TERRI ROOKARD, Plaintiffs,
SSA SECURITY, INC., d/b/a Security Services of America, Defendant - Appellee, and JEREMY DANIEL PARADY; PATRICK STEPHEN WALSH; MICHAEL MCINTOSH EVERHART; ROY THOMAS MCCANN; SECURITY SERVICES OF AMERICA, LLC; ABM INDUSTRIES, INC.; AARON LEE SPEED, Defendants
Argued January 30, 2014
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Greenbelt. (8:05-cv-02982-AW). Alexander Williams, Jr., District Judge.
Ruthanne Mary Deutsch, AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellants.
Gary Alvin Bryant, WILLCOX & SAVAGE, PC, Norfolk, Virginia, for Appellee.
Isabelle M. Thabault, Megan Whyte, WASHINGTON LAWYERS COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS AND URBAN AFFAIRS, Washington, D.C.; Steven H. Schulman, Joseph L. Decker, Maka Y. Hutson, AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellants.
Joseph P. Moriarty, J. David Crain, WILLCOX & SAVAGE, PC, Norfolk, Virginia; Gerry H. Tostanoski, TYDINGS & ROSENBERG, LLP, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.
Before KING, WYNN, and FLOYD, Circuit Judges. Judge Floyd wrote the opinion, in which Judge King and Judge Wynn joined.
FLOYD, Circuit Judge:
The appellants in this case (" the Homeowners" ) consist of 30 victims of one of the largest residential arsons in Maryland history. In this lawsuit, they seek to hold SSA Security, Inc. (SSA) responsible for the arsons, which were allegedly committed by one of its security guards. The district court granted summary judgment to SSA on the Homeowners' negligence-based claims and on their claim under the Maryland Security Guards Act (" the Act" ). In doing so, the district court concluded that the Act merely codified the common-law doctrine of respondeat superior--in other words, that the Act did not expand that doctrine in regard to security companies, contrary to the Homeowners' contentions.
On appeal, we affirmed the grant of summary judgment on the Homeowners' negligence-based claims, but certified to the Court of ...