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Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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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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Whether a plaintiff in a Maryland medical malpractice case is awarded damages generally depends on the strength of the testimony provided by the plaintiff’s medical expert. Specifically, the expert must establish not only that the defendant departed from the standard of care but also that the deviation caused the plaintiff’s harm. Thus, if a plaintiff’s expert cannot establish causation, the plaintiff’s claims may fail. Recently, a Maryland court discussed the standards for evaluating whether an expert opinion on causation is reliable enough to be admitted into evidence, in a case where the defendants were accused of medical malpractice for failing to diagnose the plaintiff’s cancer in a prompt manner. If you were harmed by your doctor’s carelessness, it is in your best interest to meet with a trusted Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine your potential claims.

Factual History

It is reported that the defendants began treating the plaintiff in the summer of 2014 when the plaintiff reported blood in his urine. The defendants did not offer the plaintiff any diagnostic or laboratory tests that would screen for cancer. Subsequently, in the fall of 2015, the plaintiff was diagnosed with metastatic cancer in his kidney and bladder. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging their failures led to the spread of his cancer, worsening his prognosis and reducing his life expectancy.

Allegedly, following discovery, the plaintiff submitted the reports of multiple medical experts, including one who offered an opinion that the defendants’ breach of the standard of care led to the plaintiff’s harm. The defendants then moved to preclude the plaintiff from allowing the expert to testify regarding causation at trial, on the basis that the expert’s opinion was unreliable. Continue Reading

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In Maryland, claims alleging medical malpractice must be filed within the time constraints set forth by the pertinent statute of limitations. Otherwise, the injured party may waive the right to recover damages. In cases involving claims against a federally funded facility, in addition to filing a lawsuit within the allotted time, a plaintiff must also file claims with the appropriate federal agency within two years of the alleged harm as well. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as when the patient continues to treat with the defendant health care provider following the date of the wrongful act, as shown in a recent Maryland malpractice case. If you were hurt by negligent medical care you might be owed damages, but you must act promptly. It is wise, therefore, to confer with a seasoned Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment and Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent multiple surgeries after he was shot several times in the abdomen. He was then incarcerated. Following his incarceration, he noticed a metal wire protruding from his surgical site. He repeatedly complained about the wire to the defendants but was not granted a surgical consultation. At one point, an examination was scheduled, but it was ultimately canceled. He made several additional requests for a consultation, and approximately two years after his initial request, he underwent a procedure to remove the wires.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants, which he later amended to include both civil rights violations and medical malpractice claims. Then, four years after his initial pleading but two years after his surgery to remove the wires, he filed an administrative claim with the appropriate agency pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), as the defendants were federal employees. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the plaintiff’s claims were time-barred. Continue Reading

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In any Maryland medical malpractice case, it is critical for the plaintiff to retain a knowledgeable expert to explain the standard of care that the defendant was expected to uphold and the manner in which the defendant breached the standard. If a party fails to obtain competent expert testimony, it can gravely impact their case. The standards for admitting expert testimony were recently discussed in a Maryland orthopedic malpractice case in which the court denied the defendant’s motion seeking to exclude the plaintiff’s expert from testifying. The jury issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. If you suffered harm due to the acts of a careless doctor, it is prudent to speak to a trusted Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine what claims you might be able to pursue.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a right hip total arthroplasty, which was performed by the defendant. The procedure involved the installation of a prosthetic femoral head. The defendant believed he installed the prosthetic correctly, but did not conduct any ex-rays during or after the surgery. The plaintiff subsequently developed swelling and bleeding at the surgical site. X-ray studies then revealed that the stem of the prosthetic perforated the plaintiff’s bone and entered the muscles of his thigh.

Allegedly, the plaintiff then underwent a second procedure to correctly place the prosthetic femoral head. He ultimately filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendant. The plaintiff retained an expert, but prior to trial, the defendant filed a motion to preclude the plaintiff’s expert due to the fact that his opinion lacked a sufficient factual basis. The court denied the motion, and following a trial, the jury issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant then appealed. Continue Reading

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It is broadly understood that a party harmed by medical negligence must pursue claims against the health care provider that caused the alleged harm within the applicable statute of limitations. While normally the statute begins to run when the injury occurs, sometimes it will not accrue until the injury is discovered. As discussed in a recent Maryland case, though, in many instances, there can be a dispute over when a party knew or should have known that a doctor’s incompetence caused a patient’s harm. If you were hurt by negligent medical care, it is smart to confer with a skilled Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assess whether you may be able to pursue a claim for damages.

Factual History

It is alleged that in May 2000, the plaintiff underwent a surgery that was performed by the defendant, during which the defendant placed a surgical clip on the plaintiff’s right ureter. In 2014 she began to experience abdominal pain and was admitted to the hospital. She was diagnosed with hydronephrosis in 2006. Then, in 2017, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit asserting claims against the defendant, alleging that he negligently placed the clip, which caused her to develop hydronephrosis and other health issues. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Maryland Deadlines for Filing Medical Malpractice Claims

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that her claims were not untimely because although the clip was placed in 2000, her injury did not occur until 2014. The appellate court explained that the statute of limitations is meant to encourage prompt resolution of claims and avoid extended delays and the loss of evidence. Thus, actions arising from the negligence of health care providers must be pursued within three years of the date when the injury was discovered or within five years of when the injury was committed. Continue Reading

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Generally, when people are harmed by incompetent medical care, the cause of their damages is readily apparent. In some instances, though, it may take months or years for the source of a person’s injury to be revealed. As such, the law often allows some leeway in when a plaintiff’s statute of limitations for pursuing a medical malpractice claim begins to run. Recently, a United States District Court discussed the statute of limitations for malpractice claims against a government-owned medical facility. In this instance, the plaintiff alleged it took him years to uncover that a doctor caused his damages. If you were harmed by the careless acts of an incompetent physician, it is prudent to speak to a seasoned Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to avoid waiving the right to recover damages.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

Reportedly, the plaintiff underwent an electric nerve test on his left ankle in January 2014. The test was performed at a medical center run by the Veterans Administration. He stated that the electrical stimulation that was administered during the test was excessive and caused him to be thrown to the floor. Following the test, the plaintiff suffered a swollen ankle, amnesia, anxiety, and fatigue. He continued to suffer ankle and foot pain but did not determine that the improperly administered test was the cause of his injuries until more than three years later.

It is alleged that the plaintiff then filed an administrative notice of his claim with the Veterans Administration. At that point, it was more than a year after the two-year statute of limitations under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) had expired. The defendant ultimately filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that the plaintiff’s claims were untimely. Continue Reading

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Under Maryland law, a plaintiff alleging harm due to medical malpractice must comply with the procedural requirements for recovering damages from the purportedly negligent provider, regardless of whether the plaintiff is also asserting claims under other legal theories. The repercussions of failing to abide by the procedural duties set forth under the law were recently demonstrated in an ophthalmology malpractice case in which the defendant’s claims were dismissed.  If you sustained injuries or impaired vision due to the negligent acts of an eye doctor, you should confer with a dedicated Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assess what measures you must take to pursue damages for your harm.

Factual History

It is reported that the plaintiff was incarcerated at a correctional facility in Maryland when he was attacked by several inmates. During the assault, he was struck in the left eye, which became swollen and filled with blood. He was transported to a nearby hospital, after which he was transferred to a second hospital that had a shock trauma facility, due to the condition of his left eye. He was originally diagnosed with traumatic optic neuropathy and prescribed eye drops that dilated his pupils. Months later, he requested and received a follow-up, during which it was suggested that he visit an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Allegedly, the defendant ophthalmologist then examined the plaintiff and advised him he had glaucoma in both eyes as well as trauma. He underwent numerous additional examinations with the defendant over the next year. Eventually, he was examined by another practitioner who determined he was suffering from keratoconus, which led to his partial vision loss, and that he had been misdiagnosed by the defendant. The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant and her employers, setting forth numerous claims including medical malpractice. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court granted in part, dismissing the malpractice claims. Continue Reading

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