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Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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In Maryland, a plaintiff who is injured by a negligent doctor has the right to pursue damages via a medical malpractice lawsuit. Prior to pursuing such claims, though, plaintiffs must meet certain requirements imposed by the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Act (HCMCA), and if they do not, they may waive the right to recover damages. The implications of failing to comply with the HCMCA was the topic of a recent Maryland opinion issued in a case in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims as to one of the defendants. If you sustained damages due to a negligent care provider, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to determine your rights.

Factual and Procedural History of the Case

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s decedent treated with the defendant neurologists, twelve in total, who failed to diagnose a brain abscess that ultimately cost the decedent her life. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, arguing they were liable for the decedent’s death. One defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims against her on the grounds that the plaintiff never filed a claim against her in Health Claims Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO) as demanded by the HCMCA. The court found in favor of the defendant and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Penalties for Failing to Comply with the HCMCA

The Maryland courts have repeatedly ruled that the requirements imposed by the HCMCA are conditions that must be fulfilled prior to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Specifically, a plaintiff must file a statement of claim and certificate of qualified expert against a health care provider in the HCADRO before pursuing civil claims. Additionally, a plaintiff has to exhaust state arbitration remedies as a condition to filing a civil lawsuit in federal or state court. If a plaintiff files a medical malpractice action without fulfilling these requirements, it must be dismissed. Continue Reading

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Generally, a plaintiff has the right to determine where to file a lawsuit, and as long as jurisdictional requirements are met, the plaintiff’s choice will not be disturbed. There are exceptions, however, that will allow a court to transfer a case to another venue, despite the plaintiff’s protests. Recently, a Maryland court discussed the grounds for requesting a change of venue in a ruling issued in a medical malpractice case. If you or someone you love suffered harm due to the incompetence of a doctor, you may be owed damages, and it is prudent to meet with a trusted Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to assess your options.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff mother was treated at the defendant medical center during her pregnancy. The plaintiff child suffered severe injuries at birth, and the mother subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant on his behalf in Baltimore City. The defendant filed a motion to transfer venue to Baltimore County on the grounds of forum non-conveniens.  The court granted the motion. The plaintiff then appealed, arguing that the court abused its discretion in granting the motion. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed.

Grounds for Granted a Change of Venue

Pursuant to the Maryland Rules of Civil Procedure, a court can transfer any case to another court where the matter may have been brought if the transfer is for the convenience of the witnesses and parties. Notably, a court may transfer a matter to another venue even if the case was brought in a proper venue. The plaintiff’s choice of venue is given deference, but the right to choose where a matter is heard is not an absolute privilege.  Thus, the court must weigh the interests of justice, which is comprised of public and private interests, and the convenience of the parties, in determining whether a transfer of venue is appropriate. Continue Reading

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Many medical facilities throughout Maryland are funded by the federal government. A person who suffers harm due to incompetent medical care at a federal facility, therefore, will likely file any medical malpractice claims in federal court naming the federal government as the defendant. Plaintiffs pursuing claims for medical negligence in the federal arena must nonetheless comply with Maryland’s requirements regarding malpractice claims, otherwise they may waive the right to recover damages, as demonstrated in a recent opinion issued by a Maryland court. If you were harmed by inadequate medical treatment in a federal facility, it is in your best interest to speak to a skillful Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Care

It is reported that the plaintiff sought treatment at a hospital operated by the defendant federal government for a pilonidal cyst. He underwent a procedure to remove the cyst that was performed by the defendant’s physicians, after which he suffered ongoing discomfort and pain. He then filed an administrative claim with the defendant in which he stated his allegations regarding his negligent care. The defendant denied his claim, and he filed a lawsuit against the defendant under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), asserting medical negligence claims.

It is alleged that the defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the court did not have subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiff failed to comply with Maryland’s statutory requirements for pursuing a medical negligence claim. The court agreed and ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint. Continue Reading

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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

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Medical malpractice claims are generally more complex than other matters, and those asserted against employees of the federal government are especially complicated. Thus, plaintiffs pursuing medical negligence cases against federally employed defendants must take special care to follow proper procedures; otherwise, their claims may be terminated. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling, in which a pro se plaintiff’s claims against a doctor were dismissed due to his failure to abide by state and federal law in filing his lawsuit. If you were injured by the incompetence of a health care provider, it is advisable to meet with a practiced Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assess your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was in a federal facility, received inadequate medical care from the defendant doctors who worked at the facility despite his repeated requests. He filed numerous claims against the defendants in a federal lawsuit, including medical malpractice claims. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, a motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff sought and received an extension but ultimately failed to file a response to the motion. The court, upon reviewing the pleadings, found in favor of the defendants and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Medical Malpractice Claims Against Agents of the Federal Government

The court explained that, with regards to suits against the federal government, the United States is protected from liability via the doctrine of sovereign immunity, except where it has explicitly waived its immunity to suit. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) expressly waives the sovereign immunity of the United States for specific torts committed by its employees. Continue Reading

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In medical malpractice cases, as in all other matters, it is vital that the plaintiff receive a fair trial before an impartial judge. Thus, a plaintiff who believes a judge harbors an implicit bias can file a motion seeking recusal. It is equally important that a plaintiff follow the proper procedure for pursuing claims of medical negligence, as the failure to do so can also impact the right to recover damages, as demonstrated in a recent opinion in which the plaintiff’s motion seeking recusal was ultimately denied due to the court’s lack of jurisdiction. If you were hurt by incompetent medical care, it is important to consult a seasoned Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Plaintiff’s Harm and Subsequent Filings

Allegedly, the defendants were the plaintiff’s primary care providers who had diagnosed the plaintiff with paranoia, which caused her to be detained and treated against her will. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit seeking damages for medical malpractice, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence. The plaintiff and each of the named defendants were residents of Maryland.

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a motion seeking recusal, arguing the judge was biased due to an adverse ruling in a prior bankruptcy matter. The court ultimately denied the plaintiff’s motion, however, due to the lack of subject matter jurisdiction over the case. The court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint. Continue Reading

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Not all harm that arises in the context of medical care necessarily constitutes malpractice. And so if a patient who suffers harm during the process of treating with a physician wishes to seek redress via a civil lawsuit, it is prudent that the patient consults with an attorney to ensure the proper claims are pursued. This was demonstrated in an opinion issued by a Maryland court, in which the court ruled that a pro se plaintiff’s purported ordinary negligence claims, in fact, sounded in medical malpractice. If you suffered injuries due to negligent medical care, it is in your best interest to speak to a seasoned Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Plaintiff’s Care and Subsequent Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was in a state facility, was attacked by another resident. He was denied medical care for several hours after the attack, but after he was seen, he was transferred to a trauma center. He was scheduled to see a neurosurgeon who would assess his injuries, but his treatment was further delayed for another month. He was then transferred to the incorrect state facility, where he was denied necessary somatic and psychiatric medications. In sum, he did not receive his prescribed medications for over three months.

Allegedly, the plaintiff suffered permanent spine and neck injuries due to the attack. He subsequently filed numerous claims against multiple parties, including a negligence claim against the defendant health care system that employed the doctors that provided his care while in the facilities. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff asserted medical malpractice, not negligence, claims, and he failed to comply with the administrative requirements for pursuing such claims.

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Advances in surgical methods allow patients to avoid many of the dangers traditionally associated with invasive procedures. Surgery is not completely without risk, though, and complications can arise that can lead to devastating harm, such as the loss of a limb. Recently, a federal district court discussed whether a defendant’s actions following knee replacement surgery constituted medical negligence, ultimately determining that they did not. If you were harmed by an improperly performed surgery or other medical negligence, it is prudent to speak to a dedicated Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment and Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a knee replacement at a hospital that was owned and operated by the defendant federal government, pursuant to a recommendation by his primary care physician. Following the surgery, he developed MRSA, which required treatment with a spacer in his leg as well as antibiotics. He then developed a second MRSA infection in his leg, after which he underwent another surgical procedure. A month later, he sustained a new antibiotic-resistant infection, and his wound remained open.

The plaintiff’s stepson, who had power of attorney for the plaintiff, directed the defendant that no treatment more invasive than antibiotics should be administered. The stepson left the country, however, and during his absence, the plaintiff underwent an amputation of his left leg. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging medical negligence claims. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court ultimately granted. Continue Reading

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In medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff must produce testimony from an expert that both establishes the standard of care and supports the argument that the defendant deviated from the standard. Thus, if a plaintiff’s expert fails to set forth evidence of the applicable standard, the expert may be disqualified, and the plaintiff’s claims may be in danger of being dismissed. This was demonstrated in a recent medical malpractice case filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, in which the court found the plaintiff’s expert failed to establish the standard of care but granted the plaintiff leave to conduct additional discovery. If you live in Maryland and were recently hurt by inadequate medical care, it is in your best interest to retain a  skilled Maryland medical malpractice attorney to help you pursue damages.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff’s foot was scraped by a pebble during a fitness competition. A few days later, he experienced swelling and stiffness in his leg that made it difficult for him to walk. The same day, he called the defendant medical center, which is a facility funded by the federal government, to report an infection in his tooth and pain and swelling in his jaw. He then presented to the defendant medical center with complaints of swelling and pain in his leg.

Allegedly, the attending doctor examined the plaintiff’s tooth and only briefly examined his foot. Approximately two weeks later, he was diagnosed with cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis in his leg, for which he had to undergo surgery. The plaintiff then filed a medical negligence claim against the defendant under the Federal Tort Claims Act, arguing that the defendant’s failure to provide a proper diagnosis caused permanent harm. Following discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s expert failed to establish the standard of care, and his testimony should be precluded, and therefore the plaintiff could not recover on his claims. Continue Reading

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Maryland medical malpractice claims typically hinge on the strength of the plaintiff’s medical expert’s opinion. If a plaintiff’s expert is precluded from testifying, therefore, it is unlikely that the plaintiff will be able to recover any damages. However, only certain parties are permitted to offer expert testimony and proposed experts who do not possess the requisite qualifications may be barred from offering testimony. This was illustrated in a recent Maryland medical malpractice case in which a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff was reversed after the trial court ruled the plaintiff’s expert should have been barred from testifying. If you sustained harm due to an improperly performed medical procedure, you should speak to a dedicated Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding what evidence you need to recover compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Expert

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s husband died due to complications following a surgical procedure that the defendant performed. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant and filed a certificate of a qualified expert. The certificate set forth that the expert would testify that the defendant breached the standard of care, which led to the plaintiff’s husband’s death, and that no more than twenty percent of the expert’s activities each year were related to providing expert testimony, as required under Maryland law.

Reportedly, during discovery, the defendant sought documentation regarding the expert’s activities and income in order to determine whether he was in compliance with Maryland’s twenty percent rule. The expert denied that he kept documentation that specifically monitored his activities but again verified his compliance with the rule. During the trial, the defendant objected to the plaintiff calling her expert due to his failure to prove compliance with the twenty percent rule. The court allowed the expert to testify, but following a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff, reconsidered and issued a judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

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