Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

People who are confined in federal facilities often, unfortunately, suffer harm due to inadequate medical care. While such losses are arguably grounds for pursuing medical malpractice claims, they may give rise to other claims as well, and it is important to understand the distinctions and what evidence is needed to demonstrate liability for various claims. In a recent Maryland ruling, the court explained the differences and ultimately ruled that the plaintiff failed to assert facts that would allow him to recover damages. If you were hurt by the negligence of your doctor, you may be owed compensation, and you should consult a Maryland medical malpractice attorney at your earliest convenience.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is alleged that the plaintiff, a state inmate, filed a Section 1983 lawsuit against the defendants, his medical provider during his incarceration, alleging they were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs related to the treatment of a hand injury. Specifically, while he was incarcerated, the plaintiff suffered a hand fracture and underwent surgery to implant a metal plate and pins. After his surgery, the pins became embedded under his skin and infected, requiring additional treatment.

It is reported that the plaintiff alleged the medical providers were deliberately indifferent by failing to properly treat the complications. Following the completion of discovery, the defendants moved for summary judgment, providing exhibits and an affidavit describing the plaintiff’s treatment. Namely, they noted that after the plaintiff’s injury, he was given x-rays, pain medication, referrals to an orthopedic surgeon, antibiotics, and wound care. His on-site doctors consulted with the surgeon regarding follow-up care. The plaintiff opposed summary judgment, disputing aspects of his treatment. Continue Reading ›

It is not uncommon for people harmed by medical malpractice to suffer additional harm at the hands of their healthcare providers. While those individuals harmed by medical negligence are permitted to pursue multiple causes of action against their healthcare providers in the same lawsuit, they must nonetheless comply with any applicable procedural rules and statutes of limitations. If they fail to do so, they may be barred from pursuing certain claims, as illustrated in a recent Maryland ruling. If you suffered harm due to incompetent medical care, it is advisable to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about what claims you may be able to pursue.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in January 2020. He named several parties as defendants, including a hospital where he underwent a surgical procedure. Subsequently, in July and August of 2022, more than two years after the plaintiff filed his initial complaint, he moved to amend the complaint to add new claims against the hospital for gross negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation, and punitive damages. In support of his motion to amend the complaint, the plaintiff stated he discovered new supporting facts in the months prior to his proposed amendment.

It is reported that the trial court denied the motions to amend, explaining that the new claims were brought too late after the initial filing, set forth different legal theories of liability, and were proposed after discovery had closed. The court also found the plaintiff failed to explain why facts he received two months before discovery ended necessitated the amendment. The plaintiff then moved for reconsideration. Continue Reading ›

Typically, people aggrieved by incompetent medical care will file medical malpractice claims against their providers in state or federal court. In rare instances, though, such claims are within the purview of other entities. For example, in a recent Maryland ruling, the court held that it did not have jurisdiction to review the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) denial of the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim arising out of the tragic death of her child during birth. If you or someone you love suffered losses due to the recklessness of a physician, it is sensible to confer with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about your options for seeking justice.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, a Naval officer, filed an administrative claim against the Department of Defense (DoD) regarding the tragic stillbirth of her child. She alleged doctors at a Naval medical center were negligent in their treatment when she sought care while pregnant. Specifically, she claimed the doctors dismissed her complaints of severe pain and discharged her, only for her to give birth to a stillborn child less than 14 hours later at a civilian hospital. DoD denied the plaintiff’s claim after an investigation, stating it found the applicable standard of care was met. The plaintiff appealed the denial to the Defense Health Agency appeals board, providing an expert opinion asserting the standard of care was not met. However, the appeals board affirmed the denial.

It is alleged that the plaintiff then filed suit in federal court challenging DoD’s decision under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). She argued DoD failed to provide an adequate explanation supporting its denial, as required by DoD regulations implementing the Military Claims Act (MCA). She sought vacatur of the decision and remand for DoD to issue a new decision with a more detailed explanation. The government moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, arguing the MCA’s finality provision precludes judicial review of claim denials.

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A recent Maryland medical malpractice verdict underscores the complexities of medical malpractice litigation and the role of damages caps in shaping the outcome of such cases. The case arose out of a devastating birth injury caused by negligence. While the damages awarded in the case are substantial, they largely represent the cost of the care the affected child will need throughout the duration of his life. If your child suffered an injury at birth due to the recklessness of a doctor, it is crucial to speak to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about what damages you may be able to recover.

The Subject Case

It is alleged that the plaintiffs filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospital after their son suffered brain damage and permanent injuries following a premature emergency cesarean section. The hospital defended its actions, claiming that the procedure was necessary to save the lives of both the mother and the baby. The trial lasted for two weeks, and the jury deliberated for four hours before reaching a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs.

It is reported that the jury awarded the plaintiffs damages amounting to approximately $34 million. Due to Maryland’s statutory cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases, the amount will be reduced to $25.2 million. The bulk of the damages awarded to the plaintiffs was for the child’s future medical expenses, which amount to $20 million. In addition, they received compensation for the child’s loss of earnings as well as his past medical expenses. The plaintiffs were awarded $10 million for pain and suffering as well, but this amount will likely be reduced to around $1 million due to the state’s damages cap. Continue Reading ›

Under Maryland law, people harmed by the negligence of healthcare providers have the right to pursue redress for their losses via medical malpractice claims. Such claims can be pursued independently, but it is not uncommon for parties to assert several causes of action in a single lawsuit. While this is permissible if such cases are pursued in federal court, and the court subsequently dismisses claims arising under federal law, it most likely will decline to exercise jurisdiction over any medical malpractice claims arising under state law. This was demonstrated recently in a case in which the District Court of Maryland declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims. If you suffered harm due to inadequate medical care, it is smart to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about what steps you can take to protect your interest.

Factual and Procedural Setting

It is reported that the plaintiff, acting pro se, filed a lawsuit against several defendants, asserting the demonstrated deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of federal law and committed medical malpractice in violation of state law. Specifically, he claimed that his psychiatric medication was discontinued leading to depression, irrational thoughts, and mood swings, and that the defendants ignored his requests to reinstate the medication.

Allegedly, none of the defendants had been served, but one of the defendants agreed to respond to the complaint without being served. They filed a motion to dismiss the complaint or, alternatively, for summary judgment. The plaintiff opposed the motion and requested permission to serve the other defendants.

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Doctors, like all people, make mistakes from time to time. Unfortunately, when they make mistakes in the context of medical care, it can cause grave harm and may be grounds for pursuing medical malpractice claims. Doctors rarely admit liability when accused of medical negligence however, and, in some instances, will assert that another physician is to blame. In a recent Maryland opinion, the court discussed causation and third-party negligence and what evidence is admissible to demonstrate a lack of culpability. If you were harmed by the carelessness of a physician, you might be owed compensation, and you should speak to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney promptly.

Factual and Procedural Setting

It is reported that the decedent had several risk factors for stroke, including obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and smoking. He sought medical attention after hitting his head while playing racquetball, complaining of headaches and nausea. Initially, his CT scans appeared normal. However, over the following weeks, his symptoms worsened, and he sought further medical advice, but no definitive diagnosis was made. The decedent subsequently suffered a stroke and was taken to the hospital. Despite treatment attempts, the decedent’s condition deteriorated, and he died.

Allegedly, the decedent’s estate filed a medical malpractice case against the radiologist that reviewed the decedent’s imaging as well as other medical practitioners involved in the decedent’s care, alleging negligence and failure to diagnose the stroke in a timely manner. The case went to trial, and the jury found in favor of the defendant radiologist, determining that he had not breached the standard of care. The decedent’s estate appealed. Continue Reading ›

In Maryland, it is not uncommon for a doctor to discuss expected outcomes with a patient prior to performing a procedure. If the doctor fails to perform the procedure properly, causing the patient harm, the patient may be able to pursue medical malpractice claims against the doctor. In most cases, such claims will sound in negligence rather than breach of contract, as demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling. If you or a loved one were hurt by a careless physician, it is prudent to speak with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about your possible causes of action.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant performed an appendectomy on the plaintiff. The plaintiff suffered complications after the surgery due to the defendant’s failure to completely remove her appendix. As such, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. Among other things, the plaintiff’s complaint alleged a breach of contract claim against the defendant on the grounds that he failed to remove her appendix as promised. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim. The court granted the motion and the plaintiff appealed.

Breach of Contract Claims in Maryland Medical Malpractice Actions

On appeal, the focus was on whether the plaintiff properly alleged that the defendant made an additional promise, establishing a breach of contract claim. Importantly, the plaintiff did not argue that the defendant specifically guaranteed the surgery’s outcome or made a special promise to cure, as seen in other breach of contract cases. The plaintiff’s counsel even conceded in the Circuit Court that no promised result was claimed. The consent form signed by the plaintiff prior to the surgery did not indicate any additional promise or warranty of success. It explicitly stated that no warranty or guarantee had been given regarding the procedure’s results. Continue Reading ›

While most of the harm doctors cause their patients is unintentional, in some instances, the failings of a physician will be so egregious that they will be deemed deliberate. Generally, claims that a doctor was deliberately indifferent to a patient’s medical needs only arise in the context of treatment rendered to an incarcerated individual. There are key differences between deliberate indifference and medical malpractice claims, as discussed in a recent Maryland case, and it is critical that anyone harmed by inadequate medical care in prison understand the distinctions before pursuing claims against the parties responsible for their harm. If you were hurt because of the negligent or intentional acts of a doctor, it is wise to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about what claims you might be able to pursue.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, acting as the personal representative of the estate of a deceased inmate, filed a complaint against the defendants, alleging that they were deliberately indifferent to the inmate’s serious medical needs while in custody at a Maryland detention center, resulting in his death. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s case, alleging she failed to state a claim for which relief could be granted. The trial court determined that although the complaint included sufficient claims of medical negligence against the defendants, it did not provide grounds for a constitutional violation against them. As a result, the district court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint. The plaintiff appealed.

Deliberate Indifference Versus Medical Malpractice Claims

On appeal, the court reversed the trial court ruling. In its opinion, the court explained that to establish deliberate indifference, the plaintiff must show both an objective and subjective element. In other words, they must demonstrate that the decedent was exposed to a substantial risk of harm, which is the objective test, and that the prison officials knew about and disregarded this risk, which is the subject test. Continue Reading ›

Maryland law allows people who suffer harm due to negligently rendered medical care to seek compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Even if there is ample evidence of inadequate treatment, however, medical professionals will often seek to have the claims against them dismissed prior to trial. As recently explained by a Maryland court, however, such requests for dismissals will only be granted if there is no genuine dispute as to whether the provider harmed their patient. If you sustained losses due to the carelessness of your treatment provider, it is advisable to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was housed in a federal facility when he slipped and fell down a flight of stairs, injuring his wrist. He sought medical attention from a doctor employed by the defendant, who observed swelling and angulation in the plaintiff’s wrist and recommended an emergency room visit. The plaintiff visited an emergency room on the same day, where X-rays confirmed a fracture of the distal radius. The emergency room staff treated him and advised him to follow up with an orthopedist within a week.

Allegedly, upon returning to the facility, the plaintiff reported to the doctor employed by the defendant, who was aware of the recommended orthopedist visit. However, the doctor did not enter a consult request conforming to the recommendation until approximately four weeks later. Eventually, the plaintiff was seen by an offsite orthopedic surgeon who recommended surgery as soon as possible. He underwent surgery a month later, but it failed to fully treat his wrist, leading to additional surgeries and procedures in the following years. The plaintiff subsequently brought a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. Following discovery, the defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. Continue Reading ›

Generally, a party injured by incompetent medical care has the right to pursue medical malpractice claims in the jurisdiction of their choosing. They cannot, however, dictate what state’s laws apply. Instead, as demonstrated in a recent opinion, when more than one state has an interest in the resolution of the matter, the courts will conduct a choice of law analysis. If you were injured due to negligent medical treatment, it is in your best interest to speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

Case Background

It is reported that the plaintiff had long-term disability benefits, which were terminated in January 2020. He appealed the decision, and a “peer review” by the defendant doctor was conducted. After submitting a rebuttal to the report by defendant doctor, the plaintiff’s appeal was denied. However, after undergoing an Independent Medical Examination, the termination of his benefits was reversed.

It is alleged that the plaintiff brought a lawsuit following the termination of his disability benefits. The complaint alleged one count of medical malpractice against the defendant doctor. The doctor subsequently filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings to dismiss the count against him. The magistrate recommended that the court grant the defendant doctor’s motion and the court adopted his recommendation. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

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