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