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While there are exceptions, expert testimony is generally needed to establish the standard of care and causation in Maryland medical malpractice cases. Thus, if a plaintiff pursuing medical malpractice claims fails to offer the opinion of an expert, their claim may be dismissed, as shown in a recent opinion issued in a Maryland medical malpractice matter. If you were hurt by negligent medical care, you have the right to pursue damages, and it is smart to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is asserted that the plaintiff treated with numerous health care providers when he was confined to a state facility for chronic pain that he suffered following a car accident. He asserts that he suffered permanent injuries due to delays and inadequate care. As such, he filed a lawsuit against the defendants, the providers who treated him during his confinement, asserting medical malpractice and other claims. Prior to trial, the defendants moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to submit the opinion of a qualified expert in support of his claims.

The Use of Expert Testimony in Maryland Medical Malpractice Matters

The court granted the motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims. The court explained that expert testimony plays a key role in medical malpractice cases. Specifically, the prevailing belief is that in cases involving the negligence of a professional, expert testimony is usually needed to establish the standard of care, a breach of the standard, and causation. Continue Reading ›

There are risks associated with most medical care, and doctors typically inform their patients of such risks before proceeding with treatment. Simply because a physician informs their patient of the potential complications that could arise during a procedure does not mean that they cannot be held liable for medical malpractice, though. Further, in most instances, the fact that a doctor obtained a patient’s informed consent is irrelevant to the issue of whether the doctor was negligent, as discussed in a recent Maryland medical malpractice matter. If you sustained injuries during an improperly performed procedure, you might be owed compensation, and you should consult a Maryland medical malpractice attorney.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant performed a routine colonoscopy on the plaintiff. During the procedure, the defendant perforated the plaintiff’s colon. The plaintiff subsequently needed to undergo numerous surgeries, had permanent symptoms of short bowel syndrome and suffered other injuries. As such, he instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. Prior to trial, the plaintiff moved to preclude the defendant from introducing or discussing the doctrine of informed consent on the grounds that it was legally irrelevant, as he was not asserting an informed consent claim.

It is reported that the defendant argued that the doctrine of informed consent was relevant to his defense of assumption of the risk. The court granted the plaintiff’s motion, and following a trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him the cost of his medical care and over $600,000 in noneconomic damages. The defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in granting the plaintiff’s motion. Continue Reading ›

People suffering from cancer and other critical illnesses typically expect their doctors to offer treatment that alleviates their disease or extends their life. Unfortunately, not all physicians provide their patients with competent care, and their negligence often diminishes their patients’ chances of achieving good outcomes. Recently, a Maryland court addressed whether such carelessness constitutes grounds for recovering damages in a medical malpractice case, ultimately ruling that it does not, rejecting the loss of chance doctrine. If your health was damaged by a careless physician, it is in your best interest to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about your options for seeking damages.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is reported that the decedent was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2006. She had a mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. She then underwent a series of diagnostic scans, all of which were negative for metastatic disease. A diagnostic test conducted in 2013 showed a new lesion on her clavicle that was potentially cancerous. The defendant, the decedent’s oncologist, reviewed the scan but did not order further testing or advise the plaintiff of the lesion’s presence.

Allegedly, three years later, the decedent underwent testing that showed that her breast cancer had metastasized to her clavicle. The decedent continued to treat but passed away in 2017. Her husband and their children filed a survival and wrongful death action against the defendant. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the theory the plaintiffs based their case on, the loss of chance doctrine, was not recognized in Maryland. The court granted the motion as to the wrongful death claim. The plaintiff appealed, but the ruling was upheld. He then petitioned for writ of certiorari requesting that the court answer whether Maryland’s Wrongful Death Statute permits recovery of damages where the actions of a doctor shortened the life of a terminally ill patient. Continue Reading ›

In medical malpractice cases, parties not only have to establish their respective positions but also must abide by any applicable rules of procedure. If they fail to do so, they may waive the right to assert claims or defenses. This was illustrated in a recent opinion issued in a medical malpractice case in which the court ruled that the defendant’s objection to the timeliness of the plaintiff’s appeal was itself untimely. If you suffered harm due to negligent medical care, it is advisable to contact a Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to pursue claims.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent abdominal surgeries at the defendant’s hospital in 2016 and 2017. Following the surgeries, she suffered numerous issues, including swelling and pain. She asserted that the defendant’s doctors performed unnecessary procedures and submitted a complaint to the hospital’s patient advocate seeking compensation, but it denied her request.

Allegedly, the plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant. The court dismissed it with prejudice, and she appealed. She sought to appeal the dismissal but did not file her notice within the time required, and the court dismissed it as untimely. She then sought leave to file a new medical malpractice complaint against the defendant. The court denied her motion, and she appealed. The defendant objected to her appeal as untimely. Continue Reading ›

Federal courts have limited jurisdiction. In other words, they can only hear cases that set forth federal questions or set forth claims that meet the minimum amount of controversy and arise between diverse citizens. As such, medical malpractice claims typically do not fall within the purview of the federal courts. While federal courts often do not have original jurisdiction over Maryland medical malpractice claims, they can exercise supplemental jurisdiction over them if they are filed in cases that also assert federal questions. If the federal question claims are dismissed, it is likely that the medical malpractice claims will be dismissed without prejudice as well, as discussed in a recent Maryland case. If you were hurt by a doctor’s negligent care, it is in your best interest to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to determine what measures you must take to protect your interests.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was confined to a federal facility. While there, he made numerous requests for treatment of chronic back and nerve pain, but his requests were denied. He subsequently filed a lawsuit against the doctor and nurse in charge of his medical care in the facility, stating, among other things, that their negligent failure to provide him with necessary medical care caused him harm. He asserted federal claims against the defendants as well. The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing in part that the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims should be dismissed because he failed to comply with the requirements imposed by the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Act (the Act).

Most people that serve on juries in Maryland medical malpractice cases lack independent knowledge regarding the standard of care that applies to physicians or what is required under the standard. As such, a plaintiff alleging that they suffered harm because of a doctor’s negligence will typically need to retain an expert to explain the standard to the jury at trial. Additionally, the expert must link the defendant’s breach of the standard to the plaintiff’s eventual harm. The expert’s opinion must be based on adequate data and methodology, though, otherwise, it may be inadmissible, as explained in a recent opinion delivered in a Maryland medical malpractice case. If you suffered losses due to the carelessness of a physician, it is smart to confer with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer about what evidence you must offer to establish liability.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was expecting her first child, treated with the defendant throughout the course of her pregnancy. The care administered included a routine screening test to determine the biophysical profile of the fetus. The test was administered when the plaintiff was 34 weeks pregnant, and the test results were normal. The defendant recommended that the plaintiff undergo the test each remaining week of her pregnancy, but the plaintiff went into labor six days later.

Allegedly, the baby was delivered via c-section due to her intolerance of labor. She needed to be resuscitated at birth and was admitted to the intensive care unit. She was later diagnosed with permanent brain injuries. The plaintiff instituted medical malpractice claims against the defendant. The plaintiff’s expert opined testified that the defendant should have ordered the screening test to be conducted twice weekly and that his failure to do so constituted negligence. The defendant moved for summary judgment and to strike the causation testimony of the plaintiff’s expert. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

Expert testimony is a critical component of Maryland medical malpractice cases. As such, if a defendant successfully moves to preclude a plaintiff’s expert from testifying, it most likely will be devastating to the plaintiff’s case. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion delivered by a Maryland court, in which the court explained that striking the plaintiff’s expert testimony effectively rendered a judgment against the defendant moot. If you were hurt by the negligence of a doctor, you should talk to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what damages you may be owed.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the decedent visited a hospital after he sustained injuries in an assault. When he arrived, he was examined by the defendant, a neurosurgeon. He later suffered a seizure and died. His mother, the representative of his estate, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, in which she alleged that he breached the standard of care by failing to transfer the decedent to the intensive care unit or administer anticonvulsants to him.

Allegedly, during discovery, the plaintiff identified a medical expert who would offer testimony regarding the standard of care. During the trial of the matter, the expert failed to comply with a subpoena to produce certain documents related to the income he earned by testifying as an expert in medical malpractice matters. He was held in contempt and sanctioned, but the jury ultimately found in favor of the plaintiff. Continue Reading ›

Pursuant to Maryland law, a plaintiff that wishes to pursue medical malpractice claims must comply with the requirements of the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Act (the Act). Among other things, Act requires plaintiffs to file a statement of a qualified expert prior to proceeding with civil claims. While the failure to do so used to be fatal to medical malpractice claims filed in federal court, an intervening change in the law dictates that courts can no longer dismiss a plaintiff’s claims due to their failure to serve an expert certificate prior to suing. The impact of the ruling was discussed by the Maryland district court in a matter in which it ultimately reinstated the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims. If you suffered harm due to the carelessness of a healthcare provider, you should meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what damages you may be owed.

Background of the Case

It is reported that the decedent filed a medical malpractice complaint against the defendants in January 2019, alleging he received inadequate treatment for various conditions when he was housed in a state facility. Following the decedent’s death, the representative of his estate was substituted as the plaintiff. In turn, she asserted that the treatment offered to the decedent fell below the standard of care. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims, and the court granted their motion. The plaintiff then filed a motion for reconsideration.

Maryland Medical Malpractice Claims Filed in Federal Court

Due to an intervening change in the law between the time the previous order was issued and the plaintiff’s filing of the motion for reconsideration, the court granted the motion. The court explained that it originally dismissed the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims because she failed to satisfy the requirements of the Act. Namely, she failed to file a certificate of a qualified expert that set forth how a defendant’s deviation from the accepted standard of care caused the plaintiff’s harm, and neglected to submit her claims to arbitration or properly waive arbitration. Continue Reading ›

College athletes generally accept the risk that they may suffer injuries in a game. If an injured student receives incompetent medical care, their injuries may become exacerbated. Simply because a student waives the right to seek damages from a university for harm suffered while playing a sport does not mean they cannot pursue claims against a negligent health care provider that treats them after their injury, as demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling. If you sustained injuries because of inadequate care you received in a hospital, you should consult a Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine what claims you may be able to pursue.

Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff played field hockey for the university she attended. During a game, she sustained a blow to the head. She subsequently sought treatment at a military primary care facility, where she was diagnosed with sinusitis. Her symptoms lingered, however, and she was eventually diagnosed with a concussion and post-concussive syndrome. She then filed a lawsuit naming the federal government as the defendant. In her complaint, she alleged that the doctor that treated her at the facility was negligent, and the government was vicariously liable for the harm caused by the doctor. The case proceeded to a bench trial.

The Court’s Findings

One of the primary issues at trial was whether the defendant could be held vicariously liable for the acts of the doctor that treated the plaintiff. The court noted that there was ample evidence that the treating physician breached the applicable standard of care and that the breach proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm. Specifically, he neglected to perform tests to determine if the plaintiff suffered a concussion or preclude her from playing in games or practice until her symptoms abated and his omissions proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer harm. Continue Reading ›

Under Maryland law, a plaintiff pursuing medical malpractice claims must comply with certain prerequisites. For example, they must file a statement of claim, certificate of qualified expert and report, and claim form with the Maryland Health Claims Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO) within six months of the date of harm. As recently discussed by a Maryland court, however, the failure to do so will not automatically result in the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims against the federal government in federal court. If you sustained losses due to a careless physician, you should meet with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what steps you must take to protect your rights.

Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff, a veteran, sought treatment from a federally owned military hospital for plantar warts on his foot. He underwent a surgical removal of the warts after which he experienced extreme pain. His symptoms would not abate despite continuous treatment. He subsequently file an administrative claim related to his care with the Navy.

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