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Most laypeople do not have independent knowledge regarding the level of care doctors must provide to their patients. Thus, in a case in which a plaintiff alleges that a physician breached the applicable standard of care and committed malpractice, the plaintiff typically must provide an expert report in support of his or her position. The need for expert testimony in a medical malpractice case was the topic of a recent opinion issued in a case in which the plaintiff asserted medical negligence claims against the defendant. If you suffered injuries because of inept medical treatment, you might be owed damages, and you should speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Reportedly, the plaintiff received care at a hospital managed by an agency of the federal government for an ulcer. He was prescribed medication and discharged but later developed periodontitis. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the federal government pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, arguing that the medication caused his periodontitis and other harm. Following the close of discovery, the defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment, arguing in part that the plaintiff failed to produce expert testimony in support of his claims.

Expert Testimony in Medical Malpractice Cases

The court explained that, under the relevant law, the plaintiff was required to demonstrate the applicable standard of care, a departure from the standard by the defendant, and a causal relationship between the departure and the plaintiff’s harm. Typically, the court noted, each of these elements must be established by expert testimony in medical malpractice cases. Continue Reading

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In Maryland, there are statutory procedural requirements parties must comply with prior to pursuing medical malpractice claims. People that fail to abide by the rules may be denied the right to seek damages from their medical providers. Recently, a Maryland court addressed the issue of whether the dismissal of a medical malpractice case was appropriate where a plaintiff fulfilled his duties as to some, but not all, of the claims he asserted. If you were harmed by inadequate medical care, it is advisable to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer promptly to avoid waiving your right to pursue damages.

Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was treated by the defendants for various medical conditions. In 2010, he tested positive for hepatitis B and hepatitis C. He was not treated for hepatitis C for two years after his diagnosis, however, and believed that his treatment for hepatitis B was inadequate. Thus, he filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging the care they provided fell below the applicable standard. The defendants then filed motions to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint alleging, in part, that the plaintiff should not be permitted to proceed on the claims related to the treatment of his hepatitis B, as he failed to comply with the procedural requirements established by Maryland law.

Requirements Under the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Act (HCMCA)

In Maryland, all lawsuits and claims against a health care provider for harm caused by medical negligence must be pursued in accordance with the HCMCA. There are several conditions a plaintiff must comply with prior to filing a medical malpractice claim. First, they must file a certificate of a qualified expert with the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO), setting forth the applicable standard of care and the manner in which the standard was breached. Continue Reading

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People harmed by incompetent medical care can seek damages from the health care providers that caused their injuries. They are only afforded one chance to prove liability, though. This means not only that plaintiffs cannot attempt to re-litigate a medical malpractice claim that has already been resolved but also that they are not permitted to pursue multiple medical malpractice claims arising out of the same set of facts. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion issued by a Maryland court, in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s medical malpractice case due to claims splitting. If you suffered injuries due to neglectful care from a medical professional, it is smart to speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent treatment with the defendant for a wound on his leg that would not heal. He was prescribed multiple tests and medications, but the wound did not improve. He continued to treatment and had ongoing symptoms of pain and swelling. He eventually filed a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth numerous claims, including medical negligence. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on several grounds, including the fact that the plaintiff had a similar lawsuit pending in another court that arose out of the same alleged harm.

Splitting Medical Malpractice Claims

In its review of the plaintiff’s claims and the defendant’s motion, the court noted that when the plaintiff filed the subject case, he already had a lawsuit in another court in which he alleged harm caused by improper medical care in the context of treatment of his leg wound. The court explained that plaintiffs are typically not permitted to pursue the same claims in more than one simultaneous lawsuit. It elaborated that the rule against claim splitting bars plaintiffs from prosecuting their claims piecemeal. Instead, they are obligated to present all claims arising out of a single act in one lawsuit. Continue Reading

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Generally, parties in medical malpractice cases rely on expert testimony to support their positions. As such, if they can present evidence discrediting an expert, it may help to convince jurors to return verdicts in their favor. Not all evidence is admissible, however, as demonstrated in a recent Maryland opinion issued in a neurosurgeon malpractice case, in which the court found that the prejudicial nature of the proposed testimony outweighed its relevance. If you were harmed by a surgical procedure, you should speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to determine your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff presented to the defendant neurosurgeon with complaints of pain in her lower back that radiated to her left leg and foot. The defendant recommended that she undergo a bilateral laminectomy, regardless of the fact that the plaintiff had no symptoms on the right side. The plaintiff underwent the surgery, after which she experienced neurological deficits, pain, and disability. She then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the surgery on the right side of her spine violated the standard of care.

It is reported that prior to trial, the plaintiff filed a motion asking the court to preclude the defendant from questioning the plaintiff’s expert regarding his disciplinary history. The court granted the motion in spite of the defendant’s objections, and a jury ultimately found in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant filed an appeal, arguing that the trial court erred in granting the plaintiff’s motion. Continue Reading

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Medical malpractice, unfortunately, often causes fatal injuries. When people lose their lives due to the incompetence of doctors, their loved ones are often able to recover compensation via wrongful death claims. If they seek economic damages, though, they must offer sufficient proof of their losses, otherwise, their claims may be denied, as demonstrated in a recent Maryland opinion. If you lost a loved one because of a doctor’s negligence, you may be able to recover damages via a civil lawsuit, and it is in your best interest to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to gauge your options.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s adult daughter died due to complications related to a severe infection in her groin and leg area. The defendant doctor treated her during her illness. The plaintiff subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, in which she asserted wrongful death claims. Prior to trial, the defendant filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law as to the mother’s claim for economic damages.

It is reported that the court denied the motion, and the case proceeded to trial. The jury ultimately awarded the plaintiff $500,000 in economic damages for loss of household services and $500,000 in non-economic damages. The defendant appealed, and the appellate court reversed the trial court ruling. The plaintiff then filed a petition for writ of certiorari. Continue Reading

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In Maryland, a plaintiff who is injured by a negligent doctor has the right to pursue damages via a medical malpractice lawsuit. Prior to pursuing such claims, though, plaintiffs must meet certain requirements imposed by the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Act (HCMCA), and if they do not, they may waive the right to recover damages. The implications of failing to comply with the HCMCA was the topic of a recent Maryland opinion issued in a case in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims as to one of the defendants. If you sustained damages due to a negligent care provider, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to determine your rights.

Factual and Procedural History of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s decedent treated with the defendant neurologists, twelve in total, who failed to diagnose a brain abscess that ultimately cost the decedent her life. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, arguing they were liable for the decedent’s death. One defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims against her on the grounds that the plaintiff never filed a claim against her in Health Claims Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO) as demanded by the HCMCA. The court found in favor of the defendant and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Penalties for Failing to Comply with the HCMCA

The Maryland courts have repeatedly ruled that the requirements imposed by the HCMCA are conditions that must be fulfilled prior to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Specifically, a plaintiff must file a statement of claim and certificate of qualified expert against a health care provider in the HCADRO before pursuing civil claims. Additionally, a plaintiff has to exhaust state arbitration remedies as a condition to filing a civil lawsuit in federal or state court. If a plaintiff files a medical malpractice action without fulfilling these requirements, it must be dismissed. Continue Reading

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Generally, a plaintiff has the right to determine where to file a lawsuit, and as long as jurisdictional requirements are met, the plaintiff’s choice will not be disturbed. There are exceptions, however, that will allow a court to transfer a case to another venue, despite the plaintiff’s protests. Recently, a Maryland court discussed the grounds for requesting a change of venue in a ruling issued in a medical malpractice case. If you or someone you love suffered harm due to the incompetence of a doctor, you may be owed damages, and it is prudent to meet with a trusted Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to assess your options.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff mother was treated at the defendant medical center during her pregnancy. The plaintiff child suffered severe injuries at birth, and the mother subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant on his behalf in Baltimore City. The defendant filed a motion to transfer venue to Baltimore County on the grounds of forum non-conveniens.  The court granted the motion. The plaintiff then appealed, arguing that the court abused its discretion in granting the motion. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed.

Grounds for Granted a Change of Venue

Pursuant to the Maryland Rules of Civil Procedure, a court can transfer any case to another court where the matter may have been brought if the transfer is for the convenience of the witnesses and parties. Notably, a court may transfer a matter to another venue even if the case was brought in a proper venue. The plaintiff’s choice of venue is given deference, but the right to choose where a matter is heard is not an absolute privilege.  Thus, the court must weigh the interests of justice, which is comprised of public and private interests, and the convenience of the parties, in determining whether a transfer of venue is appropriate. Continue Reading

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Doctors have an obligation to thoroughly advise their patients of the risks and benefits of any examination or procedure so that the patients can make educated decisions regarding whether to proceed with the suggested care. Physicians that neglect to adequately advise their patients prior to rendering treatment may be held liable for failing to obtain informed consent, but only if their shortcomings proximately cause their patients to suffer harm. The evidence needed to establish causation was discussed in a recent Maryland opinion, in a case in which the doctor’s behavior was so egregious the trial court found in favor of the plaintiff as a matter of law. If you sustained damages due to your doctor’s communication errors, you could be owed compensation, and it is advisable to speak to a skillful Maryland medical malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

The Patient’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff sought care from a urologist who had previously treated her due to kidney stones. The physician was unavailable, so his partner, the defendant, examined the plaintiff. As part of the examination, the defendant touched the plaintiff’s breasts and performed invasive digital pelvic and rectal examinations. The plaintiff felt defiled and subsequently developed PTSD and anxiety due to the examination.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant alleging numerous claims, including failure to obtain informed consent. Following discovery, the court granted summary judgment on the plaintiff’s informed consent claim, but the parties proceeded to trial on the issue of damages. Contrary to the trial court ruling, the jury found that the lack of informed consent did not damage the plaintiff and ruled in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue Reading

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People harmed by the incompetence of medical professionals have the right to seek damages via malpractice lawsuits. The right is not boundless, however, as a person can generally only pursue claims against another party one time, regardless of the merits of the underlying allegations. This rule was explained in a recent Maryland opinion in which the court dismissed a plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawsuit, as it was the fourth case he filed against the defendant. If you were harmed by medical negligence, you might be able to recover compensation from your treatment providers, and it is advisable to confer with a knowledgeable Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Care

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the defendant facility in June 2016 with complaints of pain and numbness in his left leg. He was examined, and as no abnormalities were found, he was discharged with a diagnosis of a muscle sprain. He returned two weeks later with similar complaints and was again evaluated and released. He went back to the defendant facility again nine days later. At that time, his complaints included cold feet. The treating physician did not check his pulse or temperature in his legs but determined the plaintiff’s symptoms were caused by the medication he was taking.

Allegedly, in early July, one month after his initial visit, the plaintiff experienced severe pain in his left leg. Testing revealed he was suffering from blood clots in his leg, and he was transferred to another hospital where his leg was amputated. The plaintiff then filed four different lawsuits against the defendant, alleging medical malpractice claims. The first two cases were dismissed, and the defendant filed an answer in the third case, which was filed in a Maryland state court and moved to dismiss the fourth, which was filed in a federal district court. Continue Reading

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Drownings cause thousands of deaths per year, and it is critical that people suspected of drowning receive immediate medical care. Typically, such care is rendered by an emergency medical service provider. If the services offered are inadequate, it can, unfortunately, lead to death, but in many cases, it does not constitute grounds for recovery under medical malpractice or wrongful death claim. In a recent Maryland opinion, the court explained what a plaintiff must prove to establish the liability of an EMS provider in a case in which the plaintiff’s decedent died after the defendant’s resuscitation attempts failed. If you lost a loved one due to EMT negligence, you could be owed compensation, and you should speak to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney.

The Decedent’s Death

It is reported that the decedent was taking part in a SWAT aquatic training exercise in Baltimore County. Prior to the training, he completed a series of exercises that were physically demanding, both in and out of the pool. Near the end of the training, the decedent slipped below the surface of the water for ten seconds and lost consciousness. He was removed from the pool, and medics who worked for the defendant county provided him with medical treatment and attempted to resuscitate him.

Allegedly, he was transported to a hospital, where he later died. The plaintiff filed numerous claims against the defendant, including wrongful death and negligence claims arising out of the care rendered by the EMTs. In response, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the claims. Continue Reading

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