Articles Posted in Hospital Negligence

In a Maryland medical malpractice case, the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that the defendant engaged in behavior that constitutes a deviation from the standard of care and that such behavior caused the plaintiff’s harm. In defense of such claims, the defendant may seek to introduce habit evidence, which essentially demonstrates that they typically follow a certain routine when treating patients and most likely did not depart from that routine on the date in question. Recently, a Maryland court discussed the admissibility of habit evidence in a medical malpractice case in which the jury ultimately found in favor of the defendant. If you lost a loved one due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, you have the right to seek compensation, and it is advisable to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney at your earliest convenience.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that the decedent slipped and fell on a wet floor at work, after which she was taken to the defendant’s hospital for examination. A nurse documented her injuries, and the defendant doctor examined her, diagnosing knee and hip contusions. Over the next few weeks, the decedent’s condition worsened, and she consulted other doctors, eventually being diagnosed with an acute compression fracture of the L3 vertebrae with nerve root compression. She underwent spinal fusion surgery but later suffered an anoxic brain injury, leaving her in a persistent vegetative state until her death.

Allegedly, the decedent’s guardian filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendants. Following a trial, the jury found in favor of the defendant doctor, determining that she was not negligent in her care and treatment of the decedent. The guardian filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, alternatively, a new trial based on the trial court’s admission of “habit” testimony regarding the defendant doctor’s examination practices. The motion was denied without a hearing. The guardian appealed.

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Generally speaking, doctors owe their patients two duties: they must treat them in accordance with the standard of care and advise them of the consequences of any proposed treatment. If a doctor breaches either duty, they may be held accountable for any harm that ensues. As discussed in a recent ruling, however, they generally cannot pursue a claim for breach of fiduciary duty against a doctor that fails to uphold either duty. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to incompetent medical care, it is wise to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to determine your rights.

Case Background

It is alleged that the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the defendant hospital and defendant doctor on behalf of their incapacitated daughter. In their complaint, they set forth claims of medical malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and failure to provide sufficient warning. They alleged that the defendants intentionally deceived their daughter by not informing her that the medical devices used in her treatment were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The defendants requested a judgment as a matter of law regarding the count that alleged a breach of fiduciary duty.

Duties a Doctor Owes a Patient

The court ultimately granted the defendants’ motion and dismissed the plaintiffs’ breach of fiduciary duty claim. The court explained that the defendant doctor had two legally recognized duties towards the plaintiffs’ daughter as her doctor: (1) to treat her in the same manner that a reasonably prudent doctor with his specialty would have done in similar circumstances, and (2) to inform her of the consequences of a proposed treatment. Continue Reading ›

People who served in the military are eligible to receive medical care at military hospitals. Military hospitals differ from non-government institutions in numerous ways. For example, establishing liability for medical malpractice for harm caused by incompetent care in a military hospital requires different proof than in cases involving non-government hospitals. Further, even if a patient can establish that they suffered injuries at the hand of a government doctor, their claim may be denied, as demonstrated in a recent Maryland opinion. If you suffered harm due to treatment you received at a military facility, you have the right to pursue damages, and it is in your best interest to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer.

Factual and Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was a member of the Maryland Air National Guard. During basic training in 2010, he suffered injuries when he fell from a pull-up bar. He experienced ongoing issues since the fall, including neck pain, numbness and tingling in his fingers, and difficulty with fine motor skills.

It is alleged that the plaintiff subsequently underwent surgery on his cervical spine at a military hospital. Following the surgery, he lost the use of his limbs. He instituted a lawsuit against the federal government pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), asserting claims of lack of informed consent and medical malpractice. The defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment, arguing that under the Feres doctrine, it could not be liable for the plaintiff’s harm. Continue Reading ›

Typically, people who lose loved ones due to incompetent medical treatment can choose where to pursue medical malpractice claims against the parties that caused their losses. In some instances, though, the courts will transfer a case to another venue. Recently, a Maryland court discussed the factors weighed in determining whether a change of venue is appropriate in a wrongful death and medical malpractice case filed in Maryland. If you lost a loved one due to negligent medical care, you could be owed compensation, and you should speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer regarding your options.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendants treated the decedent before his death, which was caused by an occlusive pulmonary embolism. The decedent resided in Maryland prior to his death, but the defendants treated him in Washington D.C. The plaintiff filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

Reportedly, the defendants moved to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, arguing that the only connection to Maryland was that the decedent lived there prior to his death. The plaintiff opposed the motion, noting that after discharging the decedent from their facility, the defendants continued to provide care for the decedent in Maryland through an intermediary. Continue Reading ›

In Medical malpractice cases, the records, notes, and charts produced by the defendant doctor are often key in establishing liability. Not all materials created by doctors are discoverable, however, as some are protected from disclosure by privilege. In a recent Maryland ruling issued in a hospital malpractice case, a court discussed what materials are privileged in medical malpractice claims pursued against the United States government. If you suffered injuries due to a careless physician, it is smart to speak to a skilled Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiffs filed a medical malpractice case against the United States government alleging their minor child suffered harm due to negligent care provided by anesthesiologists when he underwent surgery at a federally owned hospital. One of the anesthesiologists testified during his deposition that he wrote himself an email following the surgery, setting forth his recollections regarding the procedure. The plaintiffs requested the email in discovery, after which the anesthesiologist advised he had written it to the other anesthesiologist involved in the procedure.

People who suffer traumatic injuries in car accidents are often transported to hospitals for medical treatment. If the care they receive while hospitalized is inadequate, though, it may compound their harm and cause new trauma. While hospitals can be held accountable for the harm caused by their employees, it is more difficult to establish liability for losses brought about by physicians who are independent contractors. Recently, a Maryland appellate court discussed what a plaintiff must prove to demonstrate a hospital is responsible for harm caused by a contractor in a medical malpractice case. If you were hurt by a careless doctor, it is advisable to speak with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your options for seeking damages.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was involved in a car accident that caused critical injuries to his left arm and his legs. First responders arrived at the scene and transported the plaintiff to the defendant hospital’s trauma center, which was located within the same building as the hospital. After he was admitted, the plaintiff was treated by the defendant doctor, who was an independent contractor within his role as an on-call orthopedic surgeon for the center.

Allegedly, when the plaintiff arrived, he was disoriented and confused and was unable to sign the consent form, which stated that the treating physicians were not employees or agents of the hospital. Another party signed on his behalf, however. While he was in the trauma center, the plaintiff’s legs were amputated. He subsequently filed a malpractice claim against the defendants, alleging that if the defendant doctor complied with the standard of care, his right leg could have been saved and that the defendant hospital was vicariously liable for the defendant doctor’s negligence. The trial court ultimately issued a judgment notwithstanding the verdict in favor of the hospital, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

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 ›

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 ›

In medical malpractice lawsuits, medical documents and images detailing the plaintiff’s treatment are essential to proving liability. As such, if a defendant refuses to produce certain records, it can greatly impair a plaintiff’s ability to present a compelling case. In some instances, though, a defendant is permitted to withhold evidence, such as when the documents sought are privileged. In a recent opinion, a Maryland court discussed medical peer review privilege in a case arising out of alleged medical negligence during a surgical procedure. If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a careless treatment provider, you may have a viable claim for compensation, and it is in your best interest to speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer about your options.

The Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff’s minor son underwent a surgical procedure that was performed by physicians at a military medical center funded by the defendant, the federal government. He was deprived of oxygen during the surgery and suffered a permanent brain injury and seizure disorder. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging claims of medical negligence and lack of informed consent.

It is alleged that during the course of discovery, the plaintiff sought certain medical records from the defendant, which it refused to produce, citing privilege under the medical quality assurance statute. The plaintiff objected to the defendant’s claims of privilege and filed a motion to compel the documents. The court then conducted an in camera review of the requested documents and ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant.   Continue Reading ›

Typically, people suffering from critical medical issues will visit an emergency department of a hospital. Medical professionals working in emergency departments triage patients according to the severity of their complaints, and it is unfortunately not uncommon for a patient to have to wait for an extended period of time prior to receiving treatment. Delays in treatment, absent some degree of harm, do not typically constitute medical negligence, as was discussed in a recent ruling in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against a hospital due to a lack of damages. If you suffered harm because of inadequate care in an emergency room, it is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer about your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Care

Allegedly, the plaintiff visited the emergency department of the defendant hospital with complaints of dizziness and a rapid heartbeat and breathing. He was checked in, and shortly thereafter, a nurse took his vital signs. He was then assessed by a doctor and underwent a series of diagnostic exams. After an extended wait, a second doctor advised the plaintiff he was being discharged. He was sent home without a diagnosis half an hour later. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging in part that the defendant committed medical negligence by failing to properly treat the plaintiff. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, which the court ultimately granted.

Demonstrating Medical Negligence

Upon review, the court found that the plaintiff’s medical negligence claim was insubstantial, in that the plaintiff failed to allege the facts necessary to recover under the applicable laws. Specifically, the court noted that in order to establish the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, the defendant’s behavior constituted a breach of the duty owed and that damages to the plaintiff’s interests were proximately caused by the defendant’s breach. The court elaborated that proving the defendant’s negligence would require the plaintiff to establish the standard of care by showing what a reasonably prudent physician practicing in the same specialty as the defendant would have done in the same or similar circumstances. Continue Reading ›

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