Articles Posted in Informed Consent

Under Maryland law, people who are not adequately advised of the risks associated with a procedure may be able to seek compensation via informed consent claims. In a recent opinion issued in a lack of informed consent case, the court discussed what evidence a plaintiff must produce to show that they suffered harm other than what was disclosed as a potential risk or that they could not provide valid consent. If your doctor failed to inform you of the risks of a procedure and you suffered harm as a result, you should meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to determine your options for seeking damages.

Procedural and Factual History

It is reported that the plaintiff was diagnosed with a relapse of Grave’s disease and underwent thyroidectomy surgery at the defendant’s medical center in October 2016 after alternative treatments failed. Following the surgery, the plaintiff claimed to have suffered injuries allegedly caused by the procedure. he filed a pro se lawsuit, alleging that he was not properly informed about the risks associated with the surgery, specifically, the risks to his laryngeal nerve, vocal cord, and parathyroid glands.

Allegedly, the plaintiff also alleged medical malpractice during the surgery and post-operative care. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment on the medical malpractice claim, and the court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant. A bench trial was conducted to address the remaining informed consent claim. Continue Reading ›

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 ›

While many people undergo surgery without any complications, there are risks associated with most procedures, and problems that arise during what seems like a routine procedure can result in lifelong impairment. To ensure that their patients adequately understand the potential issues that they could face, doctors have an obligation to advise patients of the potential consequences of surgery prior to getting their permission to proceed. If they fail to do so, they may be liable for the failure to obtain informed consent, as demonstrated in a recent opinion issued in a Maryland medical malpractice case. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of a doctor, it is smart to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiffs’ infant son underwent a routine tonsil removal and bilateral implantation of tubes in his ears. During the surgery, the infant went into cardiac arrest and suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain, causing him to suffer permanent brain damage. The plaintiffs subsequently instituted a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, the doctors who performed the surgery, pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act.

Allegedly, they asserted, in part, a lack of informed consent claim in which they alleged that the defendants failed to disclose the material consequences and risks associated with the surgery in consideration of the fact that the infant had sickle cell anemia and reactive airway disease. The court subsequently set forth findings of fact and conclusions of law. Continue Reading ›

Nurses, like doctors, can be held liable if they carelessly perform their duties and cause people harm. Malpractice lawsuits against nurses must be pursued in the appropriate forum, however, and if they are not, the defendant can ask the court to transfer the case to another venue. There can be more than one proper venue, though, and the court will not transfer a case if the plaintiff’s chosen forum is appropriate. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland nursing malpractice case in which an appellate court ultimately reversed the trial court’s ruling granting the defendant’s motion for a change of venue. If you suffered permanent losses due to the negligence of a nurse, you could be owed damages, and you should speak to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant’s clinic in Baltimore City in 2010 to have an IUD implanted. She presented to another clinic owned by the defendant in Baltimore County in 2018 to undergo removal of the IUD. During the removal, which the defendant nurse performed, a piece of the IUD broke off and remained in the plaintiff’s uterus. She underwent a procedure to attempt to remove the fragment but ultimately had to undergo a hysterectomy.

Reportedly, the plaintiff then filed a lawsuit in Baltimore City alleging lack of informed consent, medical negligence, and other claims against the defendants and the entities that manufactured and sold the IUD. The defendants moved to transfer venue to Baltimore County; the trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

Typically, medical malpractice claims are pursued in state court. In some cases, however, a defendant may attempt to move a case to federal court with the hopes that they will have a better chance of obtaining a verdict in their favor. The federal courts have limited jurisdiction, however, and can only preside over certain cases. Recently, a Maryland federal district court analyzed whether it had jurisdiction over lack of informed consent claims and other causes of action asserted in a class-action lawsuit relating to the implantation of defective medical devices. If you were injured by a doctor’s failure to advise you of the risks associated with a procedure, you have the right to seek compensation, and it is smart to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what compensation you may be owed.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is alleged that each of the fourteen plaintiffs underwent surgical fusion of their spines at the defendant medical center. The operations were performed by the defendant doctor, who employed hardware manufactured by the defendant company during the procedure. The plaintiffs asserted that the defendant doctor failed to advise the plaintiffs that the hardware was not cleared or approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prior to implanting it. The plaintiffs subsequently suffered failure of the hardware and had to undergo surgical removal. They filed a class action lawsuit in Maryland state court against the defendants alleging lack of informed consent and other claims. The defendants then removed the case to federal court. The plaintiffs moved to remand the case back to state court.

A Federal Court’s Jurisdiction Over Lack of Informed Consent Claims

The court ultimately granted the plaintiff’s motion. The court explained that a party named as a defendant in a state civil lawsuit can remove the matter to federal court but only if the federal court can exercise jurisdiction over one or more of the claims. The party seeking to remove a case to federal court must establish the federal court’s jurisdiction. Continue Reading ›

Many medical facilities throughout Maryland are operated or funded by the federal government. As such, if a patient suffers harm due to incompetent care received in a federal facility, they may be able to assert claims for damages caused by the negligent health care provider pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act. While claims against federal facilities and their employees generally must be brought in federal court, medical malpractice claims arising out of state law must be pursued in state court, as discussed in a recent Maryland ruling. If you were injured by the incompetence of a doctor, it is advisable to speak to a knowledgeable Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff was treated at the defendant facility with the defendant doctor for mental health issues. The defendant doctor prescribed the plaintiff medication, which he alleged caused him to suffer migraines, issues concentrating, and bloody urine. Additionally, he asserted that the defendant doctor prescribed him other medication that caused weight gain and blurred vision.

Doctors have an obligation to thoroughly advise their patients of the risks and benefits of any examination or procedure so that the patients can make educated decisions regarding whether to proceed with the suggested care. Physicians that neglect to adequately advise their patients prior to rendering treatment may be held liable for failing to obtain informed consent, but only if their shortcomings proximately cause their patients to suffer harm. The evidence needed to establish causation was discussed in a recent Maryland opinion, in a case in which the doctor’s behavior was so egregious the trial court found in favor of the plaintiff as a matter of law. If you sustained damages due to your doctor’s communication errors, you could be owed compensation, and it is advisable to speak to a skillful Maryland medical malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

The Patient’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff sought care from a urologist who had previously treated her due to kidney stones. The physician was unavailable, so his partner, the defendant, examined the plaintiff. As part of the examination, the defendant touched the plaintiff’s breasts and performed invasive digital pelvic and rectal examinations. The plaintiff felt defiled and subsequently developed PTSD and anxiety due to the examination.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant alleging numerous claims, including failure to obtain informed consent. Following discovery, the court granted summary judgment on the plaintiff’s informed consent claim, but the parties proceeded to trial on the issue of damages. Contrary to the trial court ruling, the jury found that the lack of informed consent did not damage the plaintiff and ruled in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff then appealed. Continue Reading ›

Doctors tending to expectant mothers have a duty to advise them of treatment risks and alternatives. If they do not, and a mother makes an uninformed decision during delivery, it can result in a tragic birth injury that causes permanent impairment. If a mother is adequately advised of the potential harm a course of care poses but chooses to proceed with that plan regardless, though, the mother may be denied damages. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling in which an appellate court reversed a jury’s award in a birth injury case, which was the largest medical malpractice award in the United States to date. If your child sustained harm at birth, it is advisable to meet with an experienced Maryland birth injury attorney about your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Care

It is reported that the plaintiff mother, who was 16-years-old and 25 weeks pregnant, presented to the defendant hospital with severe eclampsia and other complications. She met with a team of doctors who advised her of treatment options and their potential risks. Specifically, they told her she could terminate her pregnancy, undergo cesarean delivery, or an induction for a vaginal delivery. She advised the doctors that she did not want to undergo a cesarean delivery to save the baby, even if there were signs of distress, but was otherwise unsure of how to proceed. She ultimately chose to undergo induction.

Some people are unable to conceive a child naturally and rely on assisted reproductive technology (ART) to grow their families. In many instances, ART involves relatively new medical practices and procedures, the risks of which are unknown. Thus, a patient that suffers damage due to an undisclosed risk of an ART procedure may face some hurdles in the pursuit of damages. Recently, however, a Maryland court ruled that a plaintiff could pursue a failure to obtain an informed consent claim against an ART facility after a couple’s child was born with significant birth defects that they were not advised could occur due to the procedure. If you suffered harm due to a healthcare provider’s failure to fully advise you of the risks of a procedure, you should speak to an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding your possible claims.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff and his wife suffered from infertility. They turned to the defendant embryology practice for assistance conceiving and chose to pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF) with ICSI, a procedure in which an egg is injected with a single sperm to form an embryo. They met with the defendant’s staff and received and signed consent forms that stated, in part, that while children born from IVF with ICSI did not seem to have an overall higher rate of congenital birth defects, the risk could not be precluded.

Allegedly, the plaintiff and his wife underwent the procedure, after which the wife became pregnant. Tragically, their unborn child was diagnosed with a disorder known as pentalogy of Cantrell, which causes severe heart issues, when the wife was six months pregnant. The plaintiff’s child was born and died a few months later, after undergoing numerous procedures. The plaintiff sued the defendant, alleging failure to obtain informed consent and other claims. The defendant moved for summary judgment. Continue Reading ›

Physicians have a duty to provide patients with competent medical care, which includes advising a patient of his or her individual health risks as well as the risks and benefits of any potential tests or treatment. As shown in a recent Maryland case, if a doctor fails to properly inform a patient of available diagnostic tests and treatment options, and the patient’s health is adversely impacted as a result, it may be grounds for a lack of informed consent claim. If you were harmed by your doctor’s failure to advise you of your testing and treatment options, you should speak to an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff presented to the defendant urologist in 2014 with complaints of urine in his blood. The defendant did not conduct any diagnostic tests to assess the plaintiff’s symptoms. Approximately a year later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with bladder cancer and kidney cancer. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant setting forth claims of medical negligence and lack of informed consent, due to the defendant’s failure to advise the plaintiff of available tests or recommend that he undergo diagnostic testing.

Allegedly, prior to trial, the defendant filed numerous motions in limine asking the court to preclude the plaintiff from introducing evidence at trial, including a motion arguing that the plaintiff should not be able to present his lack of informed consent claim, arguing that the failure to recommend tests is not grounds for an informed consent claim. Continue Reading ›

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