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Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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People harmed by the incompetence of their doctors have the right to pursue compensation via medical malpractice claims. As plaintiffs are the parties that institute cases, they generally get to determine where the case will be filed and what court will preside over the matter. Defendants have the right to request that cases be transferred to other counties, though, via motions for transfer for forum non conveniens. The courts must evaluate numerous factors to determine if a transfer is appropriate, and if they fail to do so, any transfer may be overturned, as demonstrated in a recent opinion issued in a Maryland primary malpractice case. If you were injured by the errors of a primary care physician, it is in your best interest to speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your options.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant primary care practice with complaints of pain, redness, and swelling in her left foot. She was seen by a nurse practitioner and diagnosed with gout. She visited the defendant medical express center with similar complaints two days later and was advised that she had cellulitis and a wound infection.

It is reported that three days later, the plaintiff went to the emergency department of a hospital due to a worsening of her symptoms. She was diagnosed with gas gangrene, and her foot was amputated. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants in Baltimore City. The defendants filed a motion for transfer to Baltimore County for forum non conveniens. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

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There are numerous claims a person harmed by incompetent medical care may pursue. For example, a person may assert a medical malpractice claim or failure to obtain a patient’s informed consent claim. While parties can pursue both claims in one action, they each have different elements that must be proven to recover damages. As such, it may be improper for a defendant to introduce evidence that a defendant obtained a plaintiff’s informed consent prior to a procedure in a matter in which she is solely asserting a medical malpractice claim. The ramifications of evidence relevant to other claims were the topic of a recent Maryland opinion in a surgical malpractice case in which the plaintiff argued the trial court erred in admitting improper evidence. If you suffered harm because of a negligently performed procedure, it is smart to meet with a Maryland surgical malpractice lawyer regarding your options for seeking damages.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the defendant performed a surgical repair of the plaintiff’s hernia. She was discharged with instructions and a prescription for pain medication. The evening after she was discharged, she experienced abdominal pain and was advised to fill her prescription. Five days later, she returned to the hospital with complaints of pain, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. She was transferred to the emergency department, where it was determined that she was suffering from a perforated colon.

Allegedly, she underwent an emergency procedure to repair the perforation, and the record noted she was suffering from a missed colotomy. She had to undergo several additional procedures to repair her harm. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting a medical malpractice claim. Prior to trial, she filed a motion asking the court to preclude the defendant from introducing evidence of informed consent and that the harm suffered was a known risk of the procedure. The court denied the motion as premature, but during the trial, such evidence was introduced. The jury issued a defense verdict, and the plaintiff appealed, arguing the admission of informed consent evidence was improper. Continue Reading

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Stage IV metastatic breast cancer is a devastating disease for which, tragically, there is no cure. As such, many people lose their lives to metastatic breast cancer each year. While stage IV breast cancer is not curable, it is treatable, and some people are able to live for several years after they are diagnosed. If they are robbed of the opportunity to undergo treatment due to medical negligence, though, their family members cannot recover wrongful death damages after their passing, as demonstrated in a recent Maryland opinion delivered in an oncology malpractice case. If you lost a loved one due to the incompetence of an oncologist, it is smart to meet with a knowledgeable Maryland medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your potential claims.

The Decedent’s Harm

It is reported that in 2006, the decedent was diagnosed with stage III cancer in her left breast. She underwent a mastectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy. For the next three years, her CT scans were normal. In April 2013, however, she underwent a CT scan that indicated new and possibly cancerous lesions that were not present in previous studies. The radiologist forwarded the report from the 2013 CT scan to the defendant, the decedent’s treating oncologist, who did not prescribe any follow-up tests or advise any of her providers.

Allegedly, in February 2016, the decedent was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer after she injured her shoulder. She died a year and a half later. The plaintiff, her husband, then instituted a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant, arguing that if the decedent had been diagnosed in 2013, she would have lived an additional two and a half years. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant, stating the plaintiff failed to present a viable wrongful death claim. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

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When healthcare providers face liability for incompetent medical care, it is uncommon for them to admit fault. In some cases, they may go as far as to blame the plaintiffs for the injuries they sustained, arguing their carelessness caused or contributed to their harm. In Maryland and many other jurisdictions, contributory negligence is a valid defense. In a recent opinion issued in the federal court for the District of Columbia, the court explained what a defendant must show to establish a plaintiff’s contributory negligence in a medical malpractice case. If you were injured by a reckless physician, it is smart to meet with a trusted Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries

It is reported that the plaintiff was a college student who played field hockey for her school. She suffered a concussion during a game, after which she visited the team trainer, who made an appointment for her to be seen by the defendant, the team physician. The defendant examined the plaintiff but did not believe she sustained a concussion and advised her to sit out for two games but did not offer any other treatment.

Allegedly, several months later, the plaintiff was treated with a neurologist who determined that, contrary to the defendant’s assertions, the plaintiff suffered a concussion and now had post-concussive syndrome. Thus, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the university and the defendant alleging, among other things, medical negligence claims. Following discovery, the parties moved for summary judgment. The defendants argued that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent and therefore should be denied the recovery of damages as a matter of law. Continue Reading

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It is not uncommon for injuries caused by medical malpractice to occur simultaneously with other harm. In such cases, the injured party may be able to pursue numerous causes of action in a single lawsuit. Depending on where the matter is filed, though, the dismissal of one claim may result in the court’s refusal to preside over the remaining claims. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland case in which the court declined to exercise jurisdiction over state medical malpractice claims after dismissing federal claims. If you suffered harm because of negligent medical care, it is advisable to speak to a seasoned Maryland medical malpractice lawyer about your options for seeking compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff was living in a federally owned facility when he fell down the stairs. He immediately began to experience pain and swelling in his right foot and ankle and visited the medical unit of the facility. He was provided a muscle rub and an ace bandage and advised to call the medical unit if his symptoms worsened. He was not advised to follow up and did not undergo any x-rays. His symptoms became more severe, and numerous days later, he was taken to the hospital, where it was determined that he suffered a fracture.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant in the Maryland district court, alleging violation of his Eighth Amendment rights against the wanton and unnecessary infliction of pain. He filed a supplemental complaint as well, alleging medical malpractice claims against the defendant and arguing that the court had supplemental jurisdiction over such claims. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claims on the grounds he had not alleged sufficient facts that, if proven to be true, would allow him to recover compensation. The court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss, then began to analyze the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim. Continue Reading

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When a doctor improperly performs a dental procedure, it can lead to decay, tooth loss, and lasting pain. Thus, a person harmed by a negligent dentist may be able to recover damages via a malpractice lawsuit. As with malpractice claims against doctors, though, people seeking compensation for harm caused by careless dentists must comply with jurisdictional and procedural rules; otherwise, their claims may be denied. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims because of his failure to abide by the conditions precedent under Maryland law. If you were harmed by a careless dentist, it is smart to speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to determine whether you may be owed compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Injuries

It is reported that the defendant performed oral surgery on the plaintiff, which involved exposing the bone under his bottom gum, grinding it down, and closing the gum with sutures. After the surgery, the plaintiff’s lower dentures no longer fit properly. He was then advised that the surgery should not have been performed and that he would need dental implants. As such, he filed a lawsuit against the defendant in federal court, arguing he committed malpractice by performing the surgery.  The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction over the claims. The court ultimately granted the motion.

Pursuing Malpractice Claims in Maryland Federal Courts

Federal courts have limited jurisdiction. Thus, they must assume that a matter lies outside of their jurisdiction unless proven otherwise. The party asserting that jurisdiction is proper bears the burden of establishing subject matter jurisdiction. Typically, federal courts can only hear claims arising out of federal questions or where there is a diversity of citizenship, which requires the parties to be residents of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. In the subject case, the court noted that the plaintiff had not alleged diversity jurisdiction or that the parties were citizens of different states. As such, the court found that diversity jurisdiction had not been established. Continue Reading

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Many Maryland veterans seek treatment from medical centers dedicated to caring for people who have served in the military. Such facilities are typically funded by the federal government, and therefore, any patient harmed by negligent medical care received at these centers will bring claims against the treating physician under the Federal Tort Claims Act (the Act). While the Act allows parties to pursue claims against a doctor that commits malpractice, exceptions to the Act may limit claims against the hospitals that employ negligent practitioners. The discretionary function exception to the Act was the topic of a recent Maryland opinion, in a case in which the court ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s negligent hiring and supervision claims. If you are the victim of a doctor’s negligence, it is in your best interest to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your potential claims as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, the plaintiff presented to the defendant facility for numerous mental health disorders. He began treating with a therapist, and the two eventually began a sexual relationship. The therapist often insisted that the plaintiff engage in sexual relations with her, advising him that it was a way to cure intimacy issues that stemmed from his childhood.

Reportedly, the plaintiff ended the relationship with the therapist after approximately a year and filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, asserting, in part, negligent hiring, supervision, and retention claims against the facility.  The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on the grounds they were barred by the discretionary function exception of the Act. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

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Most laypeople do not have independent knowledge regarding the level of care doctors must provide to their patients. Thus, in a case in which a plaintiff alleges that a physician breached the applicable standard of care and committed malpractice, the plaintiff typically must provide an expert report in support of his or her position. The need for expert testimony in a medical malpractice case was the topic of a recent opinion issued in a case in which the plaintiff asserted medical negligence claims against the defendant. If you suffered injuries because of inept medical treatment, you might be owed damages, and you should speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Reportedly, the plaintiff received care at a hospital managed by an agency of the federal government for an ulcer. He was prescribed medication and discharged but later developed periodontitis. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the federal government pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, arguing that the medication caused his periodontitis and other harm. Following the close of discovery, the defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment, arguing in part that the plaintiff failed to produce expert testimony in support of his claims.

Expert Testimony in Medical Malpractice Cases

The court explained that, under the relevant law, the plaintiff was required to demonstrate the applicable standard of care, a departure from the standard by the defendant, and a causal relationship between the departure and the plaintiff’s harm. Typically, the court noted, each of these elements must be established by expert testimony in medical malpractice cases. Continue Reading

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People harmed by incompetent medical care can seek damages from the health care providers that caused their injuries. They are only afforded one chance to prove liability, though. This means not only that plaintiffs cannot attempt to re-litigate a medical malpractice claim that has already been resolved but also that they are not permitted to pursue multiple medical malpractice claims arising out of the same set of facts. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion issued by a Maryland court, in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s medical malpractice case due to claims splitting. If you suffered injuries due to neglectful care from a medical professional, it is smart to speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent treatment with the defendant for a wound on his leg that would not heal. He was prescribed multiple tests and medications, but the wound did not improve. He continued to treatment and had ongoing symptoms of pain and swelling. He eventually filed a lawsuit against the defendant, setting forth numerous claims, including medical negligence. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on several grounds, including the fact that the plaintiff had a similar lawsuit pending in another court that arose out of the same alleged harm.

Splitting Medical Malpractice Claims

In its review of the plaintiff’s claims and the defendant’s motion, the court noted that when the plaintiff filed the subject case, he already had a lawsuit in another court in which he alleged harm caused by improper medical care in the context of treatment of his leg wound. The court explained that plaintiffs are typically not permitted to pursue the same claims in more than one simultaneous lawsuit. It elaborated that the rule against claim splitting bars plaintiffs from prosecuting their claims piecemeal. Instead, they are obligated to present all claims arising out of a single act in one lawsuit. Continue Reading

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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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