Articles Posted in Surgical Errors

While there are risks associated with any procedure, some harm that arises following surgery is not caused by a known danger but is instead the result of errors made by the surgeon during the procedure. Such mistakes can lead to devastating injuries that, in some cases, are unfortunately fatal. People who lose loved ones because of such negligence can often recover substantial damages, as demonstrated by a recent Maryland verdict. If you have questions about your right to pursue claims against a reckless healthcare provider, it is wise to talk to a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that a Maryland jury awarded over $8 million to the family of a man who died from complications following surgery at a Maryland hospital in 2019. The verdict was reached after an eight-day Circuit Court trial. The case centered on the decedent’s surgical procedure, which was performed to remove the man’s left kidney due to a growth. The surgery, initially laparoscopic, was converted to an open procedure during which his colon was accidentally perforated. This injury went unrecognized by the operating physicians at the time.

Parties in medical malpractice cases typically rely heavily on expert testimony and other evidence to establish their positions; if a party is precluded from offering certain evidence, they may be unable to prove their assertions. As such, it is not uncommon for parties in medical malpractice cases to file motions in limine prior to trial, asking the courts to limit what evidence their opponents are permitted to introduce. In a recent Maryland medical malpractice case arising out of a negligently performed spinal surgery, a court explained the grounds for granting motions in limine. If you were injured due to the carelessness of your surgeon, it is wise to confer with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about what claims you may be able to pursue.

The History of the Case

Allegedly, the defendant performed a lumbar endoscopic discectomy on the plaintiff. The plaintiff experienced extreme pain following the procedure. During a surgical follow-up visit, the defendant advised the plaintiff that she may have re-herniated one of the discs he repaired and that she had residual scar tissue surrounding her spine. The plaintiff underwent two additional procedures on her back that were performed by other physicians but continued to experience pain.

In medical malpractice cases, parties not only have to establish their respective positions but also must abide by any applicable rules of procedure. If they fail to do so, they may waive the right to assert claims or defenses. This was illustrated in a recent opinion issued in a medical malpractice case in which the court ruled that the defendant’s objection to the timeliness of the plaintiff’s appeal was itself untimely. If you suffered harm due to negligent medical care, it is advisable to contact a Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to pursue claims.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent abdominal surgeries at the defendant’s hospital in 2016 and 2017. Following the surgeries, she suffered numerous issues, including swelling and pain. She asserted that the defendant’s doctors performed unnecessary procedures and submitted a complaint to the hospital’s patient advocate seeking compensation, but it denied her request.

Allegedly, the plaintiff then filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant. The court dismissed it with prejudice, and she appealed. She sought to appeal the dismissal but did not file her notice within the time required, and the court dismissed it as untimely. She then sought leave to file a new medical malpractice complaint against the defendant. The court denied her motion, and she appealed. The defendant objected to her appeal as untimely. Continue Reading ›

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 ›

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 ›

In any lawsuit in which a patient alleges he or she suffered harm due to medical malpractice, the plaintiff must establish that the treating doctor breached the applicable standard of care. Simply because a patient suffers harm, however, does not mean that the doctor should be liable for negligence. This was discussed in a medical malpractice case recently decided by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. The court found in favor of the defendant orthopedic surgeon. If you suffered harm during surgery, it is prudent to meet with a zealous Maryland malpractice attorney to discuss what you must prove to recover damages.

Factual Background

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a carpal tunnel release surgery that was performed by an agent of the defendant. During the surgery, the defendant’s agent lacerated the plaintiff’s median nerve, causing her injuries. The plaintiff and her husband subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. Following a bench trial, a verdict was issued in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff appealed.

Evidence Sufficient to Prove a Breach of the Standard of Care

Pursuant to Maryland law, a plaintiff seeking damages in a medical malpractice case must establish the standard of care required at the time the medical care was provided, a breach of the standard of care by the defendant, and an injury caused by the breach. Expert testimony is usually required to prove medical negligence. Continue Reading ›

Medical malpractice cases often hinge on the persuasiveness and credibility of each party’s expert. Thus, it is not uncommon for either party to attempt to discredit an expert, either by showing that the expert lacks the appropriate credentials to set forth an opinion or that the expert deviated from the applicable standard of care on a prior occasion. In a recent case arising out of Virginia, an appellate court discussed the standard for determining when potentially prejudicial evidence regarding an expert is admissible in a medical malpractice case. If you sustained injuries due to incompetent medical care, it is prudent to meet with an attorney to discuss what damages you may be owed.  At Arfaa Law Group, our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys are skilled at helping injured parties seek recourse in lawsuits in Maryland and Virginia, and other states as well.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a blepharoplasty that was performed by the defendant. The plaintiff alleged the surgery was negligently performed, resulting in an injury to her right levator muscle, which rendered her functionally blind. Prior to trial, the defendant filed a motion to preclude the admission of evidence regarding disciplinary proceedings against his expert witness. The court denied the motion, and a jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, awarding her $800,000.00. The defendant appealed, arguing, in part, that the court erred in denying his motion.

Admissibility of Evidence Regarding an Expert’s Background

Under Virginia law, trial courts have a responsibility to weigh the competing considerations of the probative value and prejudicial nature of proposed evidence, in determining whether the evidence should be admitted. Further, the law provides that evidence is relevant if it logically tends to prove an issue in the case, and a trial court must decide whether evidence is relevant. Trial courts have the discretion to decide whether evidence is admissible, and the decision will not be disturbed absent a mistake of law. Continue Reading ›

Under Maryland law, filing a certificate from a health care provider is a prerequisite to any plaintiff wishing to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against a board-certified health care provider. Not only must the plaintiff file a certificate, but also the certificate must be from a provider in the same specialty as the defendant or a related specialty. In a recent malpractice case against a transplant surgeon, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland evaluated the specifics of the certificate requirement, including who is qualified to issue the certificate. If you sustained damages due to a negligently performed surgery, it is critical to retain an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assist you in pursuing damages from the provider that caused your harm.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered from end-stage kidney disease. As a result, she obtained a kidney transplant at the defendant hospital. The surgery was performed by the defendant doctor, who was a board-certified surgeon specializing in kidney transplantation. The plaintiff ultimately filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, asserting that the defendant doctor departed from the applicable standard of care by transplanting an incompatible kidney in the plaintiff.

Reportedly, prior to filing her lawsuit, the plaintiff filed a certificate and report from a licensed nurse practitioner who was certified in coordinating clinical transplants. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to meet the Maryland requirement that a plaintiff must file a certificate from a health care provider in the same field as the defendant prior to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Continue Reading ›

It is not uncommon for people to travel to another city or state to seek medical treatment. Under normal circumstances, traveling for medical care does not present any concerns, but when the care provided causes the patient harm, an issue can arise as to what state’s laws apply in determining whether the patient’s care providers should be held liable. Recently the United States District Court for the District Court of Maryland discussed which state’s law should apply when there is a conflict in a case in which the defendant was treated in Maryland but lived in Pennsylvania. If you were harmed by out of state medical care, it is prudent to consult a proficient Maryland malpractice attorney regarding your options for seeking recourse for your injuries.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Decedent’s Treatment

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent, who lived in Pennsylvania, traveled to Maryland to visit the defendant physicians who specialized in ear, nose, and throat surgery due to chronic nasal obstructions and difficulty swallowing. She underwent various tests, after which she was scheduled for a tonsillectomy, septoplasty, and reduction of turbinates. The decedent was noted to be potentially difficult to intubate, but she was intubated without issue and successfully extubated after surgery.

Reportedly the decedent was discharged home with directions to sleep with her head at a greater than 45-degree angle above her body, which she did. In the middle of the night, however, her husband found her unconscious and not breathing, and she was unable to be revived. An autopsy indicated cardiovascular disease, lung disease, and obesity were the causes of death and that no gross changes that indicated post-surgical complications were present. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants in federal court in Pennsylvania that was transferred to the District Court of Maryland. Defendants then filed a motion for summary judgment. Continue Reading ›

Even through surgical procedures and techniques have rapidly evolved over the last few decades, the realty is that surgeons often make mistakes. If you or a person you love has been injured by a surgical error or negligence, our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers can help you and your family. We understand how a patient can be blindsided by a poorly executed surgery. Not only does the patient have to deal with physical pain, he or she typically also has to deal with lost income and the high cost of medical bills. We will thoroughly examine your case and help you figure out your next steps.

Researchers recently examined surgical adverse events that took place over a six-month time frame. The study, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, shows more than 50 percent of surgical adverse events were the result of human error. Of the 5,300 surgical procedures that were looked at by the study, adverse events took place in 188 cases and comprised of: death, infection, bleeding, neurological problems, and hospital re-hospitalization. Of the 188 adverse events, human errors were recognized in 106 (in excess of half) of these events. Lack of attentiveness, lack of recognition or cognitive bias was determined to cause more than half of the human errors. More than 54.8 percent took place during surgery, 8 percent took place before the surgery and 26.6. percent occurred after the surgery. The adverse event occurrence rates were categorized in the following way:

  • Performing the procedure – 51.6%
  • Planning or resolving problems – 29.3%
  • Communicating – 12.8%
  • Working with teams- 4.8%
  • Violating rules – 3.2%

Continue Reading ›

Contact Information