Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Many health care facilities in and around Maryland are funded and operated by the federal government. As such, if a party wishes to pursue medical malpractice claims for harm caused by incompetent treatment in such facilities, they typically must comply with the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), and if they fail to do so, their claims may be dismissed. This was illustrated in a recent ruling in which the court dismissed a pro se plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim due to his failure to exhaust his administrative remedies. If you were injured by inadequate medical treatment, you have the right to seek damages, and it is in your best interest to confer with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney.

The Plaintiff’s Reported Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff received treatment from the defendant, a federally certified provider, while he was incarcerated. He alleged that the defendant’s employees offered him negligent care by failing to provide him with adequate pain medication or necessary tests. As such, he filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendant. The defendant moved the case to federal court, and the United States government moved to substitute itself as the defendant and to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims.

Requirements for Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims Under the FTCA

The court ultimately granted the defendant’s motions. With regard to the plaintiff’s claims pertaining to the administration of pain medication, the court found that he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as required by the FTCA. Specifically, he only filed one administrative tort claim, and it failed to describe the facts out of which the claim arose with sufficient specificity to allow the agency to investigate his claim. Thus, it was dismissed. Continue Reading ›

People who suffer harm due to incompetent medical care can seek damages via medical malpractice claims. Only treatment administered in the context of a medical relationship will give rise to liability, however. This was demonstrated in a ruling in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims on the grounds that she could not prove that a treatment relationship existed. If you were hurt by an incompetent health care provider, you may be able to pursue a claim for damages, and you should consult a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer regarding your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered an injury at work, after which she filed a disability claim. As part of the claim process, she underwent an independent medical examination, and her disability leave was managed by a nurse case manager. She attempted to return to work on numerous occasions but was advised she would not be released from the disability program until she authorized the release of her medical information. She ultimately returned to work but was terminated a few months later.

It is reported that the plaintiff, acting pro se, subsequently filed a lawsuit asserting medical negligence and malpractice claims against the supervisor of the nurse case manager responsible for handling her claim. The defendant moved the case to federal court and then moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. Continue Reading ›

Nurses, like doctors, can be held liable if they carelessly perform their duties and cause people harm. Malpractice lawsuits against nurses must be pursued in the appropriate forum, however, and if they are not, the defendant can ask the court to transfer the case to another venue. There can be more than one proper venue, though, and the court will not transfer a case if the plaintiff’s chosen forum is appropriate. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland nursing malpractice case in which an appellate court ultimately reversed the trial court’s ruling granting the defendant’s motion for a change of venue. If you suffered permanent losses due to the negligence of a nurse, you could be owed damages, and you should speak to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant’s clinic in Baltimore City in 2010 to have an IUD implanted. She presented to another clinic owned by the defendant in Baltimore County in 2018 to undergo removal of the IUD. During the removal, which the defendant nurse performed, a piece of the IUD broke off and remained in the plaintiff’s uterus. She underwent a procedure to attempt to remove the fragment but ultimately had to undergo a hysterectomy.

Reportedly, the plaintiff then filed a lawsuit in Baltimore City alleging lack of informed consent, medical negligence, and other claims against the defendants and the entities that manufactured and sold the IUD. The defendants moved to transfer venue to Baltimore County; the trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

It is not uncommon for patients to change medical providers over the course of their care. Thus, if a provider initially tasked with treating a patient commits medical malpractice, it is possible that a subsequent health care professional could continue the pattern of negligent care, further harming the patient. Each provider’s liability must be independently established in a medical malpractice case, however. This was discussed in a recent Maryland opinion in which the claims against the plaintiff’s second care provider were dismissed after the court found that, as a matter of law, the plaintiff could not recover damages from the second practitioner. If you were hurt by incompetent medical care, you could be owed compensation, and it is advisable to consult a Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding your options.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment and Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was detained at a federal facility, received care from the defendants during his confinement. Specifically, the first defendant cared for the plaintiff from 2014 through 2018, while the second defendant cared for him from 2019 forward. In 2014, he underwent a procedure during which ureteral stents were placed in his kidneys. He was scheduled to return for a follow-up procedure to remove the stents, but it was delayed for approximately two and a half years.

Allegedly, during the time in which his second surgery was delayed, the stents caused him to develop large kidney stones, renal obstruction, infection, and severe damage to his kidneys. Thus, he filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants. The second defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the plaintiff failed to set forth facts sufficient to establish liability. Continue Reading ›

Medical malpractice cases are typically more complicated than other civil lawsuits, due to the complexities of the nature of the plaintiff’s harm. Additionally, in some instances, the plaintiff will not only have pending claims against the negligent healthcare providers but also against a person or entity that caused an injury that required the allegedly inadequate medical treatment.  In any matter in which a plaintiff is pursuing not only medical malpractice claims but also other civil claims arising out of a single injury, it is essential to understand how the resolution of one claim may affect the others.

This was discussed in a recent case decided by the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, in which a plaintiff’s workers’ compensation provider sought reimbursement from a settlement in the plaintiff’s medical malpractice case.  If you suffered an injury and were subsequently harmed by a negligent medical provider during the treatment of your injury, it is essential to retain an attorney who will fight to protect your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff suffered an elbow injury at work, after which he sought treatment from a family practitioner who diagnosed him with a strain or sprain. He returned to work but continued to experience elbow pain. Five weeks later, however, he was diagnosed with a complete tear of his bicep. He underwent surgery and filed a workers’ compensation claim. His employer paid for his surgery and also paid him disability benefits.

The plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the family practitioner, alleging that he suffered permanent damages due to the practitioner’s failure to diagnose the tear or recommend follow-up testing. The plaintiff ultimately settled the medical malpractice case. The plaintiff’s employer then sought reimbursement not only for the disability benefits paid to the plaintiff but also for the cost of the plaintiff’s medical expenses. The Workers’ Compensation Commission and the circuit court found that the plaintiff’s employer was not entitled to the cost of the plaintiff’s medical treatment, after which the plaintiff’s employer appealed. Continue Reading ›

In many medical malpractice cases, medical records from entities that are not parties to the case will be relevant to establishing or refuting liability. If a party is unable to obtain such records, therefore, it may detrimentally affect the outcome of his or her case. As such, it is critical for all parties to comply with the rules of procedure when subpoenaing outside parties. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland medical malpractice case in which the court held that a patient information system did not have to comply with a subpoena issued by the defendant because the defendant did not comply with the Maryland Rules in issuing the subpoena. If you were injured because of negligent medical care, it is advisable to consult a trusted Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding what evidence you may need to produce to recover damages.

Procedural Background

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant treatment providers, arising out of the defendants’ treatment of the plaintiff with opioid pain medication. The defendants then served the patient information system (PIS) with a subpoena, seeking the plaintiff’s medical records. The PIS objected to the subpoena, arguing that compliance would violate state and federal law and would require it to breach contractual agreements with healthcare providers.

Allegedly, three months after the PIS filed the objection, the defendants responded, stating that the PIS should be ordered to comply with the subpoena, but did not serve the response on the PIS. The trial court issued an order requiring compliance, and the PIS appealed, arguing that the defendant’s response was procedurally improper and untimely. The appellate court agreed and reversed the trial court ruling. Continue Reading ›

Expert testimony is an essential component of medical malpractice cases. In other words, as the standard of care that applies to medical professionals and the duties imposed under the standard are beyond the purview of most jurors, parties need medical experts to clarify the issues and support their claims. Parties must disclose their experts prior to trial to allow the opposing party to fully assess their opinions and offer a response, and if they do not, they run the risk that their expert will not be permitted to testify. In a recent ruling issued in a dental malpractice case, a Maryland court addressed when it is appropriate to strike an expert. If you were harmed by the carelessness of a dentist or other healthcare provider it is important to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered harm due to incompetent dental care provided by the defendant. She subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against him asserting dental malpractice claims. The court established discovery deadlines, including a date by which the parties must set provide expert disclosures. The defendant failed to abide by the expert disclosure deadline, and instead produced an expert report that was over a month late. The plaintiff then moved to strike the defendant’s expert.

Grounds for Striking an Expert in a Medical Malpractice Case

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure dictate that parties must disclose the experts they intend to call at trial in a timely manner. Further, when they disclose their experts they must offer a written report setting forth a comprehensive statement of all of the opinions the witness will provide and the reasons and basis for each opinion The report must also include the data or facts the witness relied on in formulating its report, and identify any exhibits they will use to support or summarize their opinion. Continue Reading ›

When people visit medical facilities for emergent care, they generally expect the care to be competent. Unfortunately, however, emergency medical staff can sometimes fail to address concerning symptoms causing a patient to suffer a rapid decline. In such cases, the injured party may be able to pursue claims against the parties responsible for their damages. While it may seem as if liability is clear in many medical malpractice cases, whether the treatment providers will be deemed negligent as a matter of law depends on the sufficiency of the evidence produced by the plaintiff, as discussed in a recent opinion delivered by a Maryland Court. If you sustained injuries due to the carelessness of a treatment provider, you may be owed damages, and you should contact a trusted Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to assess your options.

The Decedent’s Care

It is alleged that the decedent was treated at the defendants’ facility for psychiatric issues. The defendants did not provide non-psychiatric care; instead, if they observed that a patient suffered from issues that required medical attention, they would refer the patient to specialty care. While the decedent was an in-patient in the facility, he developed edema in his legs, pitting, and balance and mobility issues, and reported extreme pain. The defendants’ staff members did not physically assess his legs, however. The decedent died during his admission and the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants asserting medical negligence claims and other causes of action. The plaintiff then moved for a ruling in his favor via summary judgment.

Sufficiency of Medical Malpractice Allegations

The court declined to grant the plaintiff’s motion noting that he did not offer sufficient support for his claims that defendants should be held liable for medical negligence to garner judgment in his favor as a matter of law. Specifically, his assertions mostly included illustrations that showed the changes to the decedent’s body in the last days of his life. He also set forth statements alleging that the facts showed the defendants’ staff completely departed from the duty owed on the decedent’s last days and that the defendants’ failure to visualize the decedent’s legs and conduct pain assessments constituted negligence as a matter of law. Continue Reading ›

People housed in federal facilities unfortunately often suffer a variety of injuries, including losses caused by incompetent medical care. Thus, if they proceed to pursue claims against the parties responsible for their harm, their lawsuit may include not only claims but also other causes of action. If a plaintiff’s complaint sets forth causes of action arising out of both state and federal law, they will most likely file it in federal courts. While the federal courts can resolve medical malpractice claims arising out of state law if they accompany federal question claims, if the court subsequently dismisses the plaintiff’s federal claims, it will most likely decline to hear their state claims as well. This was illustrated in an opinion recently set forth by a Maryland court, in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims for procedural reasons rather than their lack of merit. If you were injured by incompetently rendered health care in a facility operated by the federal government, you have the right to seek compensation, and it is advisable to confer with a skilled Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff was living in a federal facility located in Maryland. While there, the defendant, a staff member of the facility, forged the plaintiff’s signature on a blood draw waiver, which resulted in the cancellation of his blood draw. He asserted he suffered mental distress as a result and subsequently filed numerous state and federal claims, including medical negligence, against the defendant and other staff members in the federal district court. The defendants moved to dismiss his claims. The court granted the motion as to the federal claims then addressed his medical negligence claims.

Federal Court’s Supplemental Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Claims

The court held that to the extent that the plaintiff’s complaint set forth claims that the defendant engaged in medical negligence, it would not exercise supplemental jurisdiction over them. The court explained that pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a federal district court has the authority to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over claims if the court has already dismissed all of the claims over which it had original jurisdiction. Continue Reading ›

People housed in federal facilities are unfortunately often subject to extreme indifference at the hands of the medical professionals who work in such facilities. Further, they are frequently victims of medical malpractice. As such, it is not uncommon for them to assert medical malpractice and a variety of other claims against the negligent party in one complaint. While medical malpractice claims typically arise under state law, federal courts can adjudicate them alongside other claims in certain situations. If the other claims are dismissed, however, it is not uncommon for the court to dismiss the medical malpractice claims as well, regardless of whether they have merit. This was demonstrated recently in a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. If you suffered harm because of the negligence of a health care provider, you could be owed compensation, and you should contact a trusted Maryland medical malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff was housed in a federal facility. While there, he suffered harm in two separate incidents involving health care providers. In the first incident, he was given medication that caused him to suffer an allergic reaction, which he was advised was a common side effect after the fact. In the second incident, he was exposed to COVID-19. He subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendants, setting forth multiple claims, including medical malpractice. The defendants then moved to dismiss the case in its entirety.

Supplemental Jurisdiction Over State Medical Malpractice Claims

Much of the court’s opinion focused on issues other than the alleged medical malpractice. To the extent the plaintiff asserted medical malpractice claims, however, the court specifically declined to exercise additional jurisdiction over them. According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a district court may decline to exercise additional jurisdiction over a state law claim if it has already dismissed all connected claims over which it held original jurisdiction. Continue Reading ›

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