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Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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The medical care offered to people who are housed in federal facilities, unfortunately, is often inadequate. People who sustain injuries due to such incompetent care have the right to pursue claims against the parties responsible for their harm, however. In many instances, such claims will arise under both state and federal law. While a plaintiff is permitted to pursue state law medical malpractice claims and allegations that the defendant violated their civil rights in one lawsuit, there are often practical challenges with asserting both claims in one case. This was demonstrated recently in an opinion issued by a Maryland court in a matter in which it dismissed the plaintiff’s federal complaint, which included medical malpractice claims. If you were injured by a reckless healthcare provider, you might be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to confer with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer regarding your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was housed in a facility owned by the defendant. He alleged that during his stay, he received inadequate medical care for his anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. He subsequently filed a pro se federal lawsuit against the defendant, arguing his civil rights were violated. The plaintiff’s complaint also asserted medical negligence claims that arose out of state law. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s case in its entirety. After reviewing the complaint, the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff’s response, the court found in favor of the defendant and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Medical Malpractice Claims Asserted in Federal Lawsuits

While the court discussed the factual sufficiency of the plaintiff’s federal claims, it did not do so for the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims. Instead, it merely declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over them due to the fact that it dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction. The court noted that the claims were not dismissed with prejudice, and therefore, the plaintiff could pursue them in state court if he so pleased. Continue Reading

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Many medical facilities are funded and operated by the federal government. Patients who suffer harm due to incompetent care rendered in such a facility may be able to recover damages, but they typically must comply with the requirements imposed by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), as their claims will ultimately be pursued against the federal government. The duties that arise out of the FTCA are strictly construed, and the failure to abide by such obligations may be fatal to a plaintiff’s claim. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in which the court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s medical malpractice case. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of a health care provider, it is sensible to consult a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer promptly to prevent the inadvertent waiver of your right to recover damages.

The Facts of the Case

Reportedly, the decedent underwent treatment at a federally funded hospital. He subsequently died due to complications from liver cancer. The plaintiff, the decedent’s wife, filed a lawsuit against the federal government, seeking damages for the decedent’s death, pursuant to the FTCA. The plaintiff alleged, in part, that the defendant’s doctors negligently failed to screen the decedent for liver cancer. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Notice Requirements Under the FTCA

After reviewing the pleadings and evidence of record, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling. The court explained that absent a waiver, the United States is shielded from liability in civil lawsuits via sovereign immunity. The FTCA acts as a waiver of such immunity but only allows parties to pursue claims against the government if they comply with certain terms and conditions.

While the government consents to suits seeking damages for the harm caused by its employees while acting in the scope of their employment, such claims are barred unless they are presented to the appropriate federal agency, in writing, within two years of the date when the claim accrues.  The court elaborated that a claim accrues when the plaintiff either knows or reasonably should know of both the harm suffered and the cause of the harm. In the subject case, the trial court determined that the plaintiff’s claims accrued in 2011, but she failed to file her administrative tort claim until 2014. Thus, her claims were barred by the statute of limitations. Continue Reading

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It is not uncommon for people treated in federal facilities to suffer harm due to incompetent medical care. While people injured by the medical negligence of federal employees have the right to pursue damages, they generally must comply with the rules set forth under the Federal Tort Claims Act (the FTCA) and any other applicable laws; otherwise, their claims may be dismissed. This was explained in a recent ruling in which a Maryland court illustrated the pre-requisites for pursuing medical malpractice claims in federal court. If you suffered damages due to the carelessness of your treatment provider, it is advisable to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your options for pursuing compensation.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, who lived in a federal facility, fell from his bed and injured his leg. He visited the medical department, where he was examined and underwent an x-ray. He was informed that his x-ray did not indicate any injuries to his leg and knee and was directed to exercise. A month later, he returned to the medical center as his pain had increased to the point where he could no longer walk but was merely diagnosed with a muscle strain.

Allegedly, an additional x-ray taken approximately nine months after his fall indicated he suffered from avascular necrosis in his right hip and would need to undergo a hip replacement. He then filed a lawsuit against his treatment providers and the federal government, asserting, among other things, medical malpractice claims under the FTCA. The defendants moved to dismiss the claims, arguing that the plaintiff failed to comply with the proper procedure for pursuing such claims. Continue Reading

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In Medical malpractice cases, the records, notes, and charts produced by the defendant doctor are often key in establishing liability. Not all materials created by doctors are discoverable, however, as some are protected from disclosure by privilege. In a recent Maryland ruling issued in a hospital malpractice case, a court discussed what materials are privileged in medical malpractice claims pursued against the United States government. If you suffered injuries due to a careless physician, it is smart to speak to a skilled Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiffs filed a medical malpractice case against the United States government alleging their minor child suffered harm due to negligent care provided by anesthesiologists when he underwent surgery at a federally owned hospital. One of the anesthesiologists testified during his deposition that he wrote himself an email following the surgery, setting forth his recollections regarding the procedure. The plaintiffs requested the email in discovery, after which the anesthesiologist advised he had written it to the other anesthesiologist involved in the procedure.

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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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