Articles Posted in Emergency Room Malpractice

It is not uncommon for Maryland hospitals to hire doctors to work as independent contractors in their emergency rooms. If such physicians make mistakes that ultimately make mistakes that harm patients, the hospital typically will not be held vicariously liable for the doctor’s negligence. There are exceptions, though, such as liability based on the doctrine of apparent agency, as demonstrated in a recent Maryland medical malpractice case. If you were injured due to negligent care in a hospital setting, you might be owed damages, and it is prudent to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to determine your possible claims.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the defendant hospital’s emergency room following a motorcycle collision that caused him to suffer critical harm. While at the hospital, he suffered further injuries due to the negligence of the trauma surgeon that operated on him. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit seeking damages from both the surgeon, for medical malpractice and the hospital, for vicarious liability.

Allegedly, the hospital argued that it could not be vicariously liable for the acts of the surgeon as he was an independent contractor, not an employee.  The case proceeded to trial, and the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, finding that the surgeon was an agent of the hospital and the hospital was vicariously liable for his negligence. The hospital moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and the court granted the motion. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

Advances in medicine have greatly improved the treatment options for many people suffering from cancer. A prompt diagnosis is key to a good prognosis, however. Thus, missed or delayed diagnosis often negatively impacts a person’s health and long-term survival rates, and doctors that fail to diagnose their patients with cancer may be liable for medical malpractice. Recently, a Maryland court discussed what evidence a plaintiff must offer to establish that a delayed diagnosis caused actual harm, in a matter in which it ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. If you or a loved one suffered losses due to a doctor’s failure to offer a timely diagnosis, it is smart to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your rights.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the decedent presented to the emergency department of a hospital in May 2015 with complaints of back pain, abdominal pain, and nausea. He underwent an examination and diagnostic imaging. The results of his tests were reviewed by the defendant, who determined that no abnormalities were present. The decedent was diagnosed with pancreatitis and discharged.

Allegedly, in November 2015, the decedent returned to the emergency department with complaints of abdominal pain, and additional images of his abdomen were obtained. Upon review of the images, the treating doctor observed a pancreatic body mass. The decedent was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died the following month. The plaintiff, as representative of the decedent’s estate, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, arguing that his failure to diagnose the decedent caused measurable harm. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court granted his motion. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

People aggrieved by incompetent medical care have the right to seek damages from the providers responsible for their harm via medical malpractice claims. There are fees associated with pursuing such claims, though, and some people may be hesitant to file them out of fear that they cannot afford the costs. Fortunately, the law allows people who meet certain requirements to proceed in forma pauperis, which means that they can avoid many of the financial obligations associated with seeking compensation for medical negligence. They must ensure that their claims are properly pled; however, and if they are not, both their request to proceed in forma pauperis and their claims may be dismissed. If you were harmed by the negligence of your treatment provider, it is in your best interest to confer with a skilled Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what you must show to recover damages.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the emergency room of the defendant hospital in February 2022 with complaints of chest pain and difficulty breathing. He alleged that the defendant’s staff was gravely incompetent in that it failed to take or consider his complete medical history and painfully administered IV therapy. Further, he alleged that he was wrongfully discharged despite having pneumonia and fluid in his lungs.

It is reported that the defendant attributed the failings of the defendant’s staff to a pattern of racism towards people of color. He subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the defendant and a petition to proceed in forma pauperis. Continue Reading ›

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 ›

Although the majority of Maryland medical malpractice cases allege that a patient suffered harm because of negligent care, suits for harm caused by medical providers are not limited to malpractice claims. In most cases, however, even if a plaintiff’s lawsuit alleges the violation of a statute or regulatory standard pertaining to medical treatment, the plaintiff will have suffered harm due to medical errors as well. Thus, it is critical for anyone who suffered damages due to medical treatment to retain an experienced attorney who will assert the proper claims. This was demonstrated in a recent case in which the court dismissed a plaintiff’s claims alleging violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), finding that the claims actually alleged medical malpractice. If you suffered harm due to insufficient care in a hospital, you should consult a capable Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment and Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered injuries in a car accident, after which he was transferred to the defendant hospital. He was admitted, intubated, received blood transfusions, and underwent diagnostic tests and a surgical procedure. He remained in the hospital for eleven days. During that time, he required amputation of both legs. The plaintiff ultimately brought a suit against the defendant, alleging it violated EMTALA by neglecting to properly screen him or stabilize his condition. The defendant moved for summary judgment. The court granted the motion, dismissing the plaintiff’s case. The plaintiff appealed.

Violation of EMTALA Versus Medical Malpractice

On appeal, the court affirmed. The court explained that the EMTALA was enacted to prevent hospitals from dumping patients, which is described as either refusing to provide patients who are unable to pay with emergency medical treatment or transferring them before they are in a stabilized condition. Thus, the EMTALA requires hospitals to screen a person to determine whether he or she is suffering from an emergency medical condition and if so, to stabilize the person’s condition in certain circumstances, as is necessary to secure the person’s transfer without allowing the condition to further deteriorate. Continue Reading ›

Regardless of the strength of evidence of medical malpractice, if a person does not comply with the procedural requirements of pursuing a claim against a medical provider, the person’s claims may be dismissed.  For example, anyone who seeks damages for a medical injury must first file a claim with the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO) within a certain amount of time, and if they fail to do so they may waive the right to recover damages. Recently, the Court of Special Appeals addressed the issue of whether the filing of a claim in the circuit court tolls the statute of limitations for filing a claim against a health care provider for a medical injury. If you suffered harm due to a medical injury, you should speak with a dedicated Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what you must prove to recover damages.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is alleged that the plaintiff was working as a security guard at the defendant hospital when he was physically assaulted by a patient. The plaintiff suffered injuries due to the assault. The plaintiff subsequently sued the defendant hospital and emergency room physicians, arguing that they negligently failed to appropriately assess the mental status of the patient that assaulted the plaintiff and failed to properly monitor the patient, who was mentally ill.

It is reported that the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint, arguing that the complaint set forth claims of a medical injury within the scope of the Maryland Health Care Claims Act, which mandates that all claims seeking damages for a medical injury must first be filed with HCADRO. As the plaintiff did not file a claim with HCADRO, the defendants asserted the plaintiff ‘s claim must be dismissed. The trial court agreed, dismissing the claim without prejudice. Continue Reading ›

Emergency departments (ED) across the country help countless people on a daily basis and are undoubtedly critical to our health care system. However, when a medical professional in an emergency department makes a mistake, the consequences can be devastating. If this has happened to you or someone close to you, you need to reach out to a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can help. With years of experience, we understand how to navigate these complex claims.

A recent study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) found that nearly 50 percent of all health care in the United States is delivered in emergency departments. The finding confirms what hospital medical laboratories have known for a long time. UMSOM researchers say their study, which was published in the International Journal for Health Services, is the first study to quantify the contribution that emergency departments make to national health care. Their findings revealed that 47.7 percent of all hospital-associated medical care between 1996 and 2010 was delivered by emergency room departments. In addition, there were about 130 million visits to hospital emergency departments, as compared to the 101 million outpatient visits in 2010.

With such a high percentage of health care being delivered through EDs, it is no surprise that the rate of malpractice is also high in these settings. The American Medical Association estimates that almost half of the 225,000 deaths caused by malpractice occur due to emergency room errors. Emergency department malpractice is a type of medical malpractice that involves improper conduct on the part of the medical professional in the ED. Under Maryland law, malpractice takes place when the medical professional breaches the standard of care, causing injuries or death to the patient. The standard of care denotes the level of care that a reasonably prudent surgeon would have used in the same or similar circumstances.

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