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Physicians have a duty to provide patients with competent medical care, which includes advising a patient of his or her individual health risks as well as the risks and benefits of any potential tests or treatment. As shown in a recent Maryland case, if a doctor fails to properly inform a patient of available diagnostic tests and treatment options, and the patient’s health is adversely impacted as a result, it may be grounds for a lack of informed consent claim. If you were harmed by your doctor’s failure to advise you of your testing and treatment options, you should speak to an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff presented to the defendant urologist in 2014 with complaints of urine in his blood. The defendant did not conduct any diagnostic tests to assess the plaintiff’s symptoms. Approximately a year later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with bladder cancer and kidney cancer. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant setting forth claims of medical negligence and lack of informed consent, due to the defendant’s failure to advise the plaintiff of available tests or recommend that he undergo diagnostic testing.

Allegedly, prior to trial, the defendant filed numerous motions in limine asking the court to preclude the plaintiff from introducing evidence at trial, including a motion arguing that the plaintiff should not be able to present his lack of informed consent claim, arguing that the failure to recommend tests is not grounds for an informed consent claim. Continue Reading

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There are many actions that can cause significant harm to hospital patients that do not clearly constitute medical malpractice. Thus, in any medical malpractice case, it is critical for the plaintiff to allege facts that demonstrate that the defendant breached the standard of care that applies to parties in the defendant’s profession; otherwise, the plaintiff’s claims may be dismissed. This was shown in a recent Maryland case, in which the court dismissed a plaintiff’s claims due to the plaintiff’s failure to set forth any facts that demonstrated that the defendant engaged in malpractice.  If you sustained damages due to negligent treatment by a healthcare provider, it is critical to retain a skilled Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assist you in gathering the evidence needed to help you recover damages.

The Plaintiff’s Alleged Harm

Reportedly, the plaintiff’s child was born at the defendant medical center in 1978. The plaintiff alleged that his child was switched at birth due to the gross negligence of the defendant and that the switch was subsequently hidden by silence and deception. Thus, in 2019 the plaintiff filed a pro se complaint alleging a medical malpractice claim against the defendant, and the case was moved to federal court. The plaintiff filed a motion to default, and the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint, and in the alternative, a motion to require the plaintiff to file a more definite statement. After reviewing the pleadings, the court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss.

Allegations Sufficient to Withstand a Motion to Dismiss

Pursuant to the federal rules of civil procedure, a plaintiff’s complaint must set forth facts that are adequate to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face, in order for the complaint to survive a motion to dismiss. In other words, the plaintiff’s complaint must contain allegations that are sufficient to provide the defendant with fair notice of the claims against it and the grounds for which the plaintiff alleges he or she is entitled to relief. Continue Reading

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Physicians take an oath affirming that they will not harm the people they treat. Thus, a physician can be held liable for engaging in behavior that is harmful to their patients. Additionally, Maryland law allows physicians to be held accountable for failing to involuntarily admit a patient to prevent the patient from harming others or engaging in self-harm, but only under limited circumstances. The criteria for imposing liability on an emergency facility or healthcare provider for failing to admit a person involuntarily were recently discussed in a case in which a mother alleged a hospital breached the standard care after her son died following his release from the hospital. If you were harmed or lost a loved one due to negligent medical care, it is prudent to speak to a dedicated Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding what claims you might be able to pursue.

The Patient’s Treatment

It is alleged that the decedent, who was the plaintiff’s son, was arrested for stealing nasal spray, after which he became erratic and threatened to commit suicide. Due to his behavior, the police transported the decedent to the defendant hospital for evaluation. During the evaluation, the decedent advised he had previously been prescribed anti-psychotic medications, and that he had a history of attempting suicide. Ultimately, the defendant physician that evaluated the decedent determined that the decedent was depressed, but was not an acute suicide risk. As such, he was released into police custody. Approximately one week later, while still in police custody, the decedent died by suicide.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospital and the defendant physician, alleging they negligently breached the standard of care in multiple ways in the treatment of the decedent. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that they were immune from liability under Maryland law. Continue Reading

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Generally, a plaintiff alleging a healthcare provider should be held liable for medical malpractice under Maryland law must provide a report from a medical expert to prove the healthcare provider’s liability. The plaintiff must not only produce an expert report on the issue of causation but must also produce the report within the time frame set forth by the court; otherwise, it could adversely affect the plaintiff’s right to recover damages. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland medical malpractice case in which the court granted judgment in favor of the defendant due to the plaintiff’s failure to produce a timely expert report.  If you suffered harm because of incompetently rendered medical treatment, it is advisable to retain a capable Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assist you in producing the evidence needed to prove liability.

Facts and Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff began receiving chiropractic services at the defendant healthcare center following a car accident. The chiropractic treatments ultimately damaged a spinal cord stimulator that had previously been implanted in the plaintiff’s neck. Thus, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendant. Pursuant to the scheduling order issued by the court, the plaintiff designated an expert witness in February 2018.

Allegedly, after the plaintiff’s expert was deposed in May 2018, however, it was revealed the expert could not opine on the issue of causation. The plaintiff, therefore, amended her expert witness designation to add a second expert. The defendant filed a motion to strike the designation of the second expert as untimely, and the court granted the motion, barring the plaintiff’s second expert from testifying at trial. As such, during the trial, the plaintiff did not present expert testimony on the issue of causation, and the court granted judgment in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff then appealed the trial court’s decision to preclude the testimony of her second expert. Continue Reading

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In Maryland medical malpractice cases, a plaintiff must show that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s harm. In cases in which the plaintiff alleges the defendant’s negligence caused the wrongful death due of a loved one, however, the defendant may be able to argue that the loss of chance doctrine operates to bar the recovery of compensation. The loss of chance doctrine is not always applicable, however, as discussed in a recent Maryland medical malpractice case in which the court explained the doctrine’s parameters. If you lost a loved one due to negligent medical care, it is in your best interest to speak to a skillful Maryland medical malpractice attorney to examine what damages you may be able to recover.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent presented to the defendant doctor in February 2013, with complaints of pain in his tongue. The defendant performed a scrape biopsy, which did not indicate cancerous cells were present, but the pathologist noted that the sample was clinically suspicious and may not represent the entire lesion. No further actions were taken at that time, however. In May 2014, the plaintiff’s decedent visited the defendant a second time, and the defendant recommended an excisional biopsy, which was performed in June. The second biopsy revealed that the plaintiff’s decedent was suffering from invasive squamous cell cancer. The plaintiff’s decedent underwent aggressive treatment but ultimately passed away due to the cancer.

It is alleged that the plaintiff failed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the defendant’s failure to diagnose the plaintiff’s decedent in February 2013 caused the decedent’s harm. Specifically, the lawsuit set forth survival and wrongful death claims. At trial, the defendant filed a motion for judgment at the close of the plaintiff’s case, arguing that the loss of chance doctrine barred the plaintiff’s claims. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

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Maryland has specific laws regarding the procedures a person must comply with in the pursuit of damages for medical malpractice. If an injured party fails to comply with the requirements, it may result in a dismissal of the claim. However, a failure to abide by the proper procedure does not result in an automatic dismissal. Recently, a Maryland court discussed what a defendant must establish to show that a plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawsuit should be dismissed due to the failure to abide by procedure in a case in which the plaintiff alleged he suffered harm because of malpractice committed in a rehabilitation facility. If you were harmed by the inadequate medical treatment, you might be owed compensation, and it is prudent to speak to a capable Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding what steps you must take to protect your rights.

Factual History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was admitted to the defendant rehabilitation facility following hip replacement surgery. He subsequently developed pressure ulcers in multiple locations due to the defendant’s negligence and ultimately required an amputation of his right leg below the knee. The plaintiff instituted his medical malpractice action against the defendant by filing a claim with the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (the Office) as required under Maryland law.

The law also requires that after a claim is filed with the Office, the parties must file a certificate of a qualified expert and an attesting report, after which a party can waive the right to arbitration with the office. After arbitration is waived, the plaintiff must file a complaint in the civil courts within 60 days. In this case, however, the plaintiff did not file the complaint until five months after the 60 day period had run. Thus, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint as untimely. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

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In Maryland, there are numerous acts that may give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit. For example, a patient may pursue claims against a practitioner for failing to properly diagnose the patient in a timely manner or operating on the wrong part of the patient’s body, which may constitute medical negligence. Practitioners may fail to advise the patient of the risks and other information regarding a procedure, which may be deemed a failure to obtain informed consent. Recently, a Maryland court highlighted the differences between medical negligence and the failure to obtain informed consent, in a case in which the defendant sought dismissal of the plaintiff’s informed consent claims. If you suffered harm due to improper medical care, it is advisable to meet with a diligent Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss your potential claims.

Factual History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent was admitted to a hospital in August 2017, following a fall, where he complained of pain and swelling in his left knee. He was then transferred to another hospital where he underwent an evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon, who noted the decedent was not a candidate for surgery and should be placed on antibiotics. He was prescribed antibiotics and discharged. He was then transferred back to the detention center where he had previously been incarcerated but he did not fill his prescription or take the prescribed antibiotics. However, he continued to complain of issues in his knee, and his condition deteriorated. He was ultimately transferred to a hospital, where he died of sepsis. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, the healthcare provider for the detention center, alleging numerous claims, including failure to obtain informed consent. The defendant sought dismissal of the failure to obtain an informed consent claim via summary judgment.

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Many medical facilities throughout Maryland receive funding from the federal government. Simply because an entity is federally funded does not mean it is immune from medical malpractice claims. However, a plaintiff seeking damages for malpractice that occurred at a health care facility that is considered a government establishment must comply with the procedural requirements set forth in the Federal Tort Claims Act (the FTCA). It is well established that the failure to comply with the FTCA can result in a dismissal of claims, as noted in a recent Maryland medical malpractice case. If you were harmed by incompetent care that you received in a government-owned or funded facility in Maryland, you should contact a skilled Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what claims you might be able to pursue.

Facts of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff visited a hospital at a United States military establishment for a right hip arthroplasty. Prior to the surgery, the plaintiff advised the anesthesiologist that she did not believe an epidural would be effective due to a prior laminectomy. The anesthesiologist nonetheless attempted an epidural three times before switching to regular anesthesia. The plaintiff suffered irreparable nerve damage during the surgery, which rendered her unable to walk upright.

It is alleged that the plaintiff then filed an administrative claim with a government agency alleging that the surgeon cut a motor nerve during the surgery. The agency stated there was no evidence of negligence but invited the plaintiff to submit an expert medical opinion. The plaintiff submitted a written report in which a medical expert stated it was difficult to ascertain the cause of her injury. The agency then denied the plaintiff’s claim, after which she filed a lawsuit under the FTCA, alleging the attending anesthesiologist committed medical negligence. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing, in part, that the plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies. The court granted the defendant’s motion. Continue Reading

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In an attempt to reduce frivolous claims, the Maryland legislature enacted the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claim Act (the Act), which requires, in part, that a person who wishes to pursue medical malpractice claims must file a statement of claim and a Certificate of a Qualified Expert and Report (CQE) with the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO) prior to filing a lawsuit. If a claimant fails to comply with these procedural requirements, he or she may waive the right to seek compensation. Recently, a Maryland court explained who may sign a CQE, in a case in which the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims were dismissed due to an invalid CQE. If you suffered harm due to neglectful medical care, it is in your best interest to speak to a trusted Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding what evidence you must produce to set forth a winning case.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent back surgery at the defendant hospital. Following the surgery, employees of the defendant attempted to transfer the plaintiff from a bed into a chair and negligently dropped the plaintiff, causing him to reinjure his back. The plaintiff subsequently filed a statement of claim with the HCADRO, as well as a CQE signed by a registered nurse. He then filed a complaint against the defendant in the circuit court. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the plaintiff failed to comply with the Act because a registered nurse was not qualified to testify as to causation in the CQE. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed, arguing in part that the trial court erred in ruling that a registered nurse is not qualified to sign a CQE.

Sufficiency of a Certificate of a Qualified Expert and Report

The Act provides that a CQE must be signed by a health care provider, and the Maryland definition of health care providers includes registered nurses. The Act also provides that an expert providing a CQE must not only opine that the defendant departed from the standard of care, but must also attest that the defendant’s departure from the standard of care caused the plaintiff’s harm. Continue Reading

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When a person dies because of medical malpractice, the person’s family has the right to seek damages via a civil lawsuit. Specifically, the family members may seek compensation via a wrongful death and survival action. While generally the location of the harm is in the same jurisdiction as the deceased person’s residence, an issue can arise as to which state’s laws apply when the harm occurred in a different state than where the deceased person lived. Recently, a Maryland court discussed what state’s laws apply in wrongful death claims and survival actions arising out of medical malpractice in a state other than where the deceased person resided. If you lost a loved one because of incompetent medical care in another state, it is prudent to consult an attorney to discuss what state’s laws may apply in your pursuit of damages.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent, who was a Pennsylvania resident, traveled to Maryland to undergo a tonsillectomy, septoplasty, and a reduction of the inferior turbinate. Her oxygen levels fell below the normal rate following the surgery, but she stabilized and was discharged. After she traveled back to her home, she died of hypoxia, which was caused by a number of factors. The plaintiff subsequently filed a wrongful death claim and survival action in the Maryland courts. Prior to trial, the defendants filed a motion in limine, arguing that Maryland law should apply to the plaintiff’s claims. Upon review, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Substantive Law Determined by the Location of the Harm

Under Maryland law, different choice of law rules apply to wrongful death claims and survival actions. Specifically, the Wrongful Death Statute states that if a wrongful act took place in another state, United States territory, or the District of Columbia, Maryland courts will apply the substantive law of the jurisdiction where the act occurred. The courts have construed this provision to mean that if the wrongful act occurred in Maryland, the substantive law of Maryland will apply. In the subject case, the allegedly tortious conduct of the defendant occurred in Maryland. Thus, the court found that Maryland’s substantive law applied with regards to the wrongful death claim. Continue Reading

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