Articles Posted in Maryland Medical Malpractice Law

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In the majority of medical malpractice cases pursued in Maryland, both the plaintiff and the defendant will need to retain one or more experts to opine as to whether the expert deviated from the standard of care. If either party’s expert is not qualified, however, the party may be precluded from presenting the expert’s testimony at trial. Recently, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland analyzed the limitations of an expert’s qualification to opine on treatment related to his or her specialty in a medical malpractice case. If you suffered harm because of negligent medical care, it is wise to speak with a skillful Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what evidence you may need to prove liability for your harm.

Factual Background of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff’s decedent underwent a surgical repair of an aortic aneurysm and a bypass of the right coronary artery. She went to a rehabilitation facility for one month following her surgery, after which she was discharged home. A few weeks later, she underwent an evaluation for blood pressure and other health issues with a certified nurse practitioner at a cardiology practice. During the appointment, the plaintiff’s decedent reported she was experiencing vomiting, weight loss, and nausea. Two days later, however, she was evaluated by the doctor who performed her surgery, who stated that she was not experiencing any complications.

It is alleged that at a subsequent follow-up with a second cardiologist, she again reported vomiting and other issues. The second cardiologist discontinued three of the plaintiff’s decedent’s medications due to her ongoing symptoms. She subsequently developed a pericardial effusion and congestive heart failure. She died shortly after that from sepsis of an unknown origin. Before her death, it was suspected that the plaintiff’s decedent was suffering from mesenteric ischemia, but an autopsy did not reveal any evidence of the condition. Continue Reading

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There is nothing more devastating than realizing your newborn has suffered a preventable birth injury. Aside from the stress of dealing with such an injury, you probably have a lot of questions. If your child has sustained a serious birth injury because of a medical professional’s neglect or mistake, you might be able to obtain compensation. Birth injury cases are among the most complex areas of medical malpractice law, but you can rest assured that our hard-working Baltimore birth injury lawyers know how to effectively advocate for your rights.

Recently, a Baltimore jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case in which the defendant was accused of causing a severe birth injury in 2014. The lawsuit arose from allegations that medical professionals provided a 16-year-old mother with inaccurate dire predictions about the possible outcome of the birth after she began experiencing preeclampsia. Facing that prognosis, which the mother’s lawyers say was incorrect; the teen underwent an unmonitored vaginal delivery when she should have instead had a C-section. This led to the newborn daughter suffering long lasting brain injuries from a lack of oxygen. In fact, the baby was born with a hypoxic brain injury, which caused cerebral palsy. She cannot walk, must rely on a feeding tube, and requires round-the-clock care.

Birth injuries can happen for a variety of reasons, but when these injuries are caused by medical negligence or careless errors made by a medical professional, you have the legal right to hold that medical professional accountable through a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice happens when a medical professional injures a patient by failing to act in accordance with the standard of care. The standard of care denotes the level of care that a reasonably competent doctor would have used in the same situation. You should be aware that the standard of care differs in each situation based on a number of factors including the patient’s medical history, age, condition being treated and more.

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If you or a loved one has suffered an injury that you believe is the result of medical malpractice, our Baltimore medical injury attorneys are here for you. With extensive experience advocating for victims of medical malpractice in Maryland, we understand how to protect your rights and hold the at-fault party accountable for the harm that they caused.

Recently, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland remanded to the circuit court a medical malpractice and wrongful death case alleging failure to diagnose and treat the decedent’s condition within the appropriate time frame. In this case, the plaintiff failed to file a supplemental certificate in a timely manner and the circuit court dismissed the case as a result. The appellate court remanded the case to the lower court to clarify the question of whether dismissal was the appropriate response, or whether some other remedy would have been more appropriate.

In a medical malpractice case, Maryland law requires a plaintiff file a supplemental certificate of a qualified expert within 15 days following the date of the discovery deadline. The court is required to grant an extension to this deadline if “good cause” is shown. However, if a plaintiff fails to file a supplemental certificate of a qualified expert for a defendant, the court can dismiss the claim on a motion of the defendant. Here, the circuit court denied the plaintiff’s motion for additional time holding that the plaintiff did not show good cause. The circuit court, thus, dismissed the case altogether. While the dismissal was without prejudice, it had the same effect because the statute of limitations had run in the case.

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While people in every profession make mistakes from time to time, when a medical professional makes an error, it can cost a patient his or her life. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, our experienced Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can help you figure out your next steps. At Arfaa Law Group, we understand how to navigate these complex claims.

A Maryland high court recently barred a car crash victim from pursuing a medical malpractice claim after discovering that she had been fully compensated for all of her injuries by the auto insurance company. The facts of the case are as follows. A woman sustained serious injuries in a car accident. She underwent surgery and developed a post-operative infection, which was resistant to treatment. Ultimately, a doctor treated her infection with antibiotics intravenously and ended up accidentally puncturing an artery during the procedure. As a result, the woman suffers from a condition that causes chronic pain, numbness and disability in her left arm.

In regards to the car crash, the woman sued the driver of the other car for negligence. She obtained a settlement from the negligent driver and the owner of the vehicle, as well as from her uninsured/underinsured motorist carrier.

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If you or a loved one has been harmed by medical negligence, you could be eligible for compensation. At Arfaa Law Group, our knowledgeable Baltimore medical malpractice advocates will parse through the details of your case and provide you with an honest evaluation of your claim. We know the ins and outs of Maryland medical malpractice law, including the relevant legal time frames in your case and how serious courts are about these deadlines.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment granted by a lower court to a medical malpractice defendant based on the statute of limitations. The plaintiff and his wife filed a medical malpractice claim in November 2013 against the University of Maryland Medical System Corp. and the University of Maryland Medical Center (collectively UMMC), alleging that UMMC failed to properly treat an MRSA infection in his leg. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the lawsuit had been filed after the statute of limitations had expired.

The specifics of the case are as follows. On July 3, 2010, the plaintiff was diagnosed with a serious fragmented break of his left femur and open wound on his left thigh. His underwent surgery in which bolts were screwed into his bones. A few days later, he was tested for MRSA and the test results came back negative. On July 12 of that same year, he tested positive for MRSA and was placed into isolation. On July 19, 2010, he was discharged to a rehabilitation center. On July 27, 2010, he was sent back to UMMC. On July 29, UMMC sent him back to the rehabilitation center where he was treated for the MRSA infection and remained for a few weeks. In June of 2012, the plaintiff was admitted to the hospital where tests showed a heavy growth of MRSA infection. From that point onward until 2013, he had issues with the infection until he had to have a total knee replacement.

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Unfortunately, medical mistakes are routinely the cause of injury to patients in Maryland. If you or a family member has suffered undue harm because of medical negligence, our highly skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can help. At Arfaa Law Group, we will investigate your case and come up with a legal strategy accordingly.

The Case

In Armacost v. Davis, the plaintiff went to see a neurosurgeon after years of neck and shoulder pain, as well as numbness in his right hand. After discussing various options, the plaintiff agreed to undergo four-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery. After the surgery, the plaintiff initially recovered well but then had to go to the emergency room a number of times due to a pinpoint opening at the end of his incision and, later, due to chest pain and periodic numbness in his left arm. Later, the pinpoint opening became an abscess and tested positive for a bacterial infection.

The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice claim against the neurosurgeon, claiming the procedure he underwent was not medically required and was inappropriate for someone of his age with his medical history. In addition, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant and the hospital took too long to diagnose and treat the post-operative infection. The defendant, on the other hand, argued that the diagnosis and treatment provided adhered to the appropriate standard of care.

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Anesthesiologists are vital to ensuring that surgery is safe. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to an anesthesiologist’s error, you could have a claim for medical malpractice against the anesthesiologist. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys will make every effort to get you the monetary damages you rightfully deserve.

A divided Florida Supreme Court recently ruled against an anesthesiologist in a medical malpractice claim that involved a female who lost her life while undergoing surgery for a tumor in her skull. In a 4-3 decision, the court overturned an earlier verdict for the anesthesiologist who performed a pre-anesthesia evaluation of the patient. According to the complaint filed by the patient’s husband, the anesthesiologist allegedly failed to order a second electrocardiogram after the first one highlighted irregular results and failed to report these irregular lab results to the surgeon. The Supreme Court rejected the lower court’s rationale that let the anesthesiologist off the hook because he was not the “primary cause” of the patient’s death. Rather, the Supreme Court noted that a doctor can be the proximate cause of a patient’s harm even if he or she is not the primary cause of that harm. While this is a Florida case, causation is an important element of all Maryland malpractice cases as well.

Anesthesiologist Errors Leading to Malpractice

According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, anesthesiologists are committed to the “relief of pain and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery.” Part of an anesthesiologist’s job is to make sure patients undergoing surgery do not feel pain during the operation. This involves evaluating a patient before surgery to make sure the amount and type of anesthetic being administered is safe for the patient.

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When you visit the doctor, you trust that you will get proper care. Sadly, every year a number of people in Maryland and throughout the US are injured because of medical negligence. In the most serious of cases, medical professionals make fatal mistakes that kill patients and leave behind loved ones who are completely devastated. If you were hurt or lost a loved one and you believe it was because of medical malpractice, let our experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers help. At Arfaa Law Group, we understand the nuances of medical malpractice law – including the strict procedural requirements that must be met in order to file and proceed with your claim.

The Kentucky Supreme Court recently struck down a law requiring a team of physicians to assess medical malpractice claims before they go to court. Specifically, the law used to give the team of physicians nine months to evaluate a medical malpractice lawsuit and then provide an opinion about whether the claim had merit. That opinion could later be used as evidence at trial. The court held that the law violated the section 14 of the state’s constitution, which states that every individual has access to the justice system without delay. In addition, the court noted that the law went against the constitutional prohibition against special legislation as it was created to benefit medical professionals and no such special protection exists for any other type of tort defendant.

Maryland “Certificate of Merit” Requirement

While Kentucky may no longer require a plaintiff’s case to be reviewed before filing in court, Maryland law still does. Maryland law mandates that a medical doctor sign off on a medical malpractice lawsuit. In fact, within 90 days of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, a Maryland plaintiff is required to file a certificate of merit from a qualified medical expert or a licensed or certified professional.

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Oftentimes, when a person sustains a medical injury, multiple parties are to blame. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a healthcare provider’s negligence, you need skilled legal counsel to review your case to identify any and all potentially responsible parties. Medical malpractice cases that have multiple defendants are not only incredibly complex; they require an enormous amount of paperwork so having an experienced Baltimore medical malpractice attorney is vital to your case.

Medical Malpractice

In order to understand the concept of joint and several liability, you must first understand the basics of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is defined as any act or omission by a physician or other healthcare provider that departs from the generally accepted standards of practice in the medical community and is the direct cause of injury or death to a patient. As a practical matter, medical malpractice claims are civil claims that are filed against healthcare providers whose negligence caused harm to a patient.

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A misdiagnosis can have severe and long-term consequences for a patient. If you have been hurt because a medical professional misdiagnosed your condition, you may be able to seek compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our diligent Baltimore misdiagnosis attorneys will evaluate the facts of your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your claim.

A Maryland appellate panel has affirmed the mid-trial dismissal of a lawsuit accusing a Johns Hopkins Hospital doctor of misdiagnosing a woman with lung cancer instead of the rare disease she firmly believed she had contracted, and settling a quarrel over when the three-year statute of limitations began to run.

The facts of the case are as follows. M.M., an Arizona resident, contracted Coccidioidomycosis (commonly known as “Cocci” or “Valley Fever”) – a disease caused by a fungus germane to the semi arid areas of the southwestern states. In 2008, M.M. believed she experienced symptoms consistent with a Cocci infection. That same year, she and her husband relocated to Maryland where she sought treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Her doctor there stated that he believed her symptoms were more likely due to lung cancer rather than Cocci. In fact, the doctor said there was a 90 percent chance that M.M. had lung cancer and stated the only way to treat it was to conduct a partial lung lobotomy. In 2009, a portion of M.M.’s lung was removed. It was later confirmed that M.M., in fact, did have a Cocci infection.