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.