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Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women, and early detection is critical to an increased chance of survival. While Maryland does not recognize a loss of chance of a favorable outcome as a viable claim in wrongful death cases, a practitioner can be held liable for proximately causing a patient harm by failing to provide a timely diagnosis. Therefore, if a court erroneously employs the loss of chance theory when analyzing whether a doctor should be deemed liable for malpractice, it can lead to an unjust result. The differences between loss of chance and proximate cause were recently discussed in a Maryland opinion in which an appellate court reversed the trial court’s ruling in favor of the defendant radiologist in a wrongful death case. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to radiology errors, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding your potential claims.

The Alleged Harm and Subsequent Trial

It is reported that the defendant radiologist performed a breast examination on the decedent in November 2011 that did not reveal any abnormalities. The decedent found a lump in her breast six months after that, that the defendant radiologist deemed benign. Fifteen months later, she was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. She underwent treatment for two years but ultimately lost her battle with cancer in 2016.

The plaintiff, the decedent’s husband, filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the defendant’s medical malpractice led to the decedent’s untimely death. A trial was held, and a jury found in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant moved for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict which the court granted, finding that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate the defendant caused the decedent’s death. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

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EMTs and paramedics are often the first people to respond to calls regarding medical emergencies. Although they are not doctors, medical first responders are expected to abide by a certain standard of care and can be held liable when their reckless acts cause physical harm. Proving an EMT should be deemed responsible for injuries can be challenging, however, as illustrated in a recent Maryland ruling in which the court found that the plaintiff did not produce evidence of gross negligence, as required to recover damages. If you were hurt by the careless acts of a first responder, it is prudent to consult a knowledgeable Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to demonstrate liability.

The Defendant’s Pre-Call and Post-Call Behavior

Allegedly, the plaintiffs’ decedent, who was 21-years-old, was at a friend’s house when he began experiencing difficulty breathing. The friend called 911, and the defendant EMTs responded to the call. Tragically, the decedent died due to cardiac arrest following an asthma attack. Plaintiffs, the decedent’s parents, filed a lawsuit against the defendants and their employer. The lawsuit alleged in pertinent part that the defendants’ failure to respond to the call in a prompt manner and to aggressively treat the decedent’s symptoms once they arrived led to the decedent’s death.

It is reported that the defendants moved to have the plaintiffs’ claims dismissed via summary judgment. The court found that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate the defendants were grossly negligent as required under Maryland law and granted the motion. The plaintiffs appealed. Continue Reading

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Not all harm that arises in the context of medical care necessarily constitutes malpractice. And so if a patient who suffers harm during the process of treating with a physician wishes to seek redress via a civil lawsuit, it is prudent that the patient consults with an attorney to ensure the proper claims are pursued. This was demonstrated in an opinion issued by a Maryland court, in which the court ruled that a pro se plaintiff’s purported ordinary negligence claims, in fact, sounded in medical malpractice. If you suffered injuries due to negligent medical care, it is in your best interest to speak to a seasoned Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Plaintiff’s Care and Subsequent Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was in a state facility, was attacked by another resident. He was denied medical care for several hours after the attack, but after he was seen, he was transferred to a trauma center. He was scheduled to see a neurosurgeon who would assess his injuries, but his treatment was further delayed for another month. He was then transferred to the incorrect state facility, where he was denied necessary somatic and psychiatric medications. In sum, he did not receive his prescribed medications for over three months.

Allegedly, the plaintiff suffered permanent spine and neck injuries due to the attack. He subsequently filed numerous claims against multiple parties, including a negligence claim against the defendant health care system that employed the doctors that provided his care while in the facilities. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff asserted medical malpractice, not negligence, claims, and he failed to comply with the administrative requirements for pursuing such claims.

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Advances in surgical methods allow patients to avoid many of the dangers traditionally associated with invasive procedures. Surgery is not completely without risk, though, and complications can arise that can lead to devastating harm, such as the loss of a limb. Recently, a federal district court discussed whether a defendant’s actions following knee replacement surgery constituted medical negligence, ultimately determining that they did not. If you were harmed by an improperly performed surgery or other medical negligence, it is prudent to speak to a dedicated Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment and Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a knee replacement at a hospital that was owned and operated by the defendant federal government, pursuant to a recommendation by his primary care physician. Following the surgery, he developed MRSA, which required treatment with a spacer in his leg as well as antibiotics. He then developed a second MRSA infection in his leg, after which he underwent another surgical procedure. A month later, he sustained a new antibiotic-resistant infection, and his wound remained open.

The plaintiff’s stepson, who had power of attorney for the plaintiff, directed the defendant that no treatment more invasive than antibiotics should be administered. The stepson left the country, however, and during his absence, the plaintiff underwent an amputation of his left leg. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging medical negligence claims. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court ultimately granted. Continue Reading

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Some people are unable to conceive a child naturally and rely on assisted reproductive technology (ART) to grow their families. In many instances, ART involves relatively new medical practices and procedures, the risks of which are unknown. Thus, a patient that suffers damage due to an undisclosed risk of an ART procedure may face some hurdles in the pursuit of damages. Recently, however, a Maryland court ruled that a plaintiff could pursue a failure to obtain an informed consent claim against an ART facility after a couple’s child was born with significant birth defects that they were not advised could occur due to the procedure. If you suffered harm due to a healthcare provider’s failure to fully advise you of the risks of a procedure, you should speak to an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding your possible claims.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff and his wife suffered from infertility. They turned to the defendant embryology practice for assistance conceiving and chose to pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF) with ICSI, a procedure in which an egg is injected with a single sperm to form an embryo. They met with the defendant’s staff and received and signed consent forms that stated, in part, that while children born from IVF with ICSI did not seem to have an overall higher rate of congenital birth defects, the risk could not be precluded.

Allegedly, the plaintiff and his wife underwent the procedure, after which the wife became pregnant. Tragically, their unborn child was diagnosed with a disorder known as pentalogy of Cantrell, which causes severe heart issues, when the wife was six months pregnant. The plaintiff’s child was born and died a few months later, after undergoing numerous procedures. The plaintiff sued the defendant, alleging failure to obtain informed consent and other claims. The defendant moved for summary judgment. Continue Reading

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Many people who live in Maryland obtain care from facilities owned or funded by the State of Maryland. A patient that suffers harm due to the careless acts of a practitioner working in a State medical center may be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, but in addition to proving the elements of a negligence claim, the patient must also prove that the provider is not immune under the Maryland Torts Claim Act (MTCA). Recently, a Maryland court discussed the plaintiff’s burden in a medical malpractice claim against a doctor employed by the State, ultimately determining the plaintiff had set forth sufficient evidence to proceed. If you were harmed by a careless doctor at a State-owned facility, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss your rights.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent, who was an inmate with the Maryland Department of Corrections, had a long-standing history of suicidal ideation and had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. During his incarceration, he was evaluated by a psychiatrist and diagnosed with personality, schizoaffective, and psychotic disorders and placed on suicide watch. He was then transferred to another facility where he was examined and treated by the two defendant psychiatrists.

Reportedly, the defendants ultimately determined that the plaintiff would remain stable if he took his medication and directed that he be transferred to a less restrictive housing tier, despite the fact that he was noncompliant, incommunicative, and physically immobile due to his mental health issues. He subsequently died by suicide. The lawsuit was filed against the defendants, alleging they committed medical malpractice. The defendants moved to dismiss the claims. Continue Reading

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In medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff must produce testimony from an expert that both establishes the standard of care and supports the argument that the defendant deviated from the standard. Thus, if a plaintiff’s expert fails to set forth evidence of the applicable standard, the expert may be disqualified, and the plaintiff’s claims may be in danger of being dismissed. This was demonstrated in a recent medical malpractice case filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, in which the court found the plaintiff’s expert failed to establish the standard of care but granted the plaintiff leave to conduct additional discovery. If you live in Maryland and were recently hurt by inadequate medical care, it is in your best interest to retain a  skilled Maryland medical malpractice attorney to help you pursue damages.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff’s foot was scraped by a pebble during a fitness competition. A few days later, he experienced swelling and stiffness in his leg that made it difficult for him to walk. The same day, he called the defendant medical center, which is a facility funded by the federal government, to report an infection in his tooth and pain and swelling in his jaw. He then presented to the defendant medical center with complaints of swelling and pain in his leg.

Allegedly, the attending doctor examined the plaintiff’s tooth and only briefly examined his foot. Approximately two weeks later, he was diagnosed with cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis in his leg, for which he had to undergo surgery. The plaintiff then filed a medical negligence claim against the defendant under the Federal Tort Claims Act, arguing that the defendant’s failure to provide a proper diagnosis caused permanent harm. Following discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s expert failed to establish the standard of care, and his testimony should be precluded, and therefore the plaintiff could not recover on his claims. Continue Reading

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Maryland medical malpractice claims typically hinge on the strength of the plaintiff’s medical expert’s opinion. If a plaintiff’s expert is precluded from testifying, therefore, it is unlikely that the plaintiff will be able to recover any damages. However, only certain parties are permitted to offer expert testimony and proposed experts who do not possess the requisite qualifications may be barred from offering testimony. This was illustrated in a recent Maryland medical malpractice case in which a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff was reversed after the trial court ruled the plaintiff’s expert should have been barred from testifying. If you sustained harm due to an improperly performed medical procedure, you should speak to a dedicated Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding what evidence you need to recover compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Expert

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s husband died due to complications following a surgical procedure that the defendant performed. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant and filed a certificate of a qualified expert. The certificate set forth that the expert would testify that the defendant breached the standard of care, which led to the plaintiff’s husband’s death, and that no more than twenty percent of the expert’s activities each year were related to providing expert testimony, as required under Maryland law.

Reportedly, during discovery, the defendant sought documentation regarding the expert’s activities and income in order to determine whether he was in compliance with Maryland’s twenty percent rule. The expert denied that he kept documentation that specifically monitored his activities but again verified his compliance with the rule. During the trial, the defendant objected to the plaintiff calling her expert due to his failure to prove compliance with the twenty percent rule. The court allowed the expert to testify, but following a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff, reconsidered and issued a judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

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Federal law generally prohibits the disclosure of a patient’s protected health information without the patient’s consent. In certain instances, however, a patient’s acts may constitute a waiver of the right to object to other parties obtaining the patient’s health information. For example, if a patient files a medical malpractice lawsuit against a medical provider, thereby placing the patient’s health at issue, the courts may allow the provider to obtain information from other parties that treated the patient, even if the patient does not grant permission. This was demonstrated in a recent federal case. If you were hurt by the incompetence of a doctor or nurse, it is advisable to consult a skillful Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assess whether you may have a viable claim for damages.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was admitted to the intensive care burn unit of the defendant hospital with symptoms of a serious skin infection. She ultimately lost vision in both of her eyes due to the defendant’s employee’s failure to provide her with proper care. She then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant.

Allegedly, during the course of discovery, the defendant filed a motion asking the court to allow it to obtain information from numerous providers that treated the plaintiff without engaging in the formal discovery process. In other words, the defendant’s attorney wished to contact them without the use of a subpoena or discovery request. The plaintiff objected, arguing that it would violate her doctor-patient relationships. Continue Reading

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Whether a plaintiff in a Maryland medical malpractice case is awarded damages generally depends on the strength of the testimony provided by the plaintiff’s medical expert. Specifically, the expert must establish not only that the defendant departed from the standard of care but also that the deviation caused the plaintiff’s harm. Thus, if a plaintiff’s expert cannot establish causation, the plaintiff’s claims may fail. Recently, a Maryland court discussed the standards for evaluating whether an expert opinion on causation is reliable enough to be admitted into evidence, in a case where the defendants were accused of medical malpractice for failing to diagnose the plaintiff’s cancer in a prompt manner. If you were harmed by your doctor’s carelessness, it is in your best interest to meet with a trusted Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine your potential claims.

Factual History

It is reported that the defendants began treating the plaintiff in the summer of 2014 when the plaintiff reported blood in his urine. The defendants did not offer the plaintiff any diagnostic or laboratory tests that would screen for cancer. Subsequently, in the fall of 2015, the plaintiff was diagnosed with metastatic cancer in his kidney and bladder. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging their failures led to the spread of his cancer, worsening his prognosis and reducing his life expectancy.

Allegedly, following discovery, the plaintiff submitted the reports of multiple medical experts, including one who offered an opinion that the defendants’ breach of the standard of care led to the plaintiff’s harm. The defendants then moved to preclude the plaintiff from allowing the expert to testify regarding causation at trial, on the basis that the expert’s opinion was unreliable. Continue Reading

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