Court Discusses Evidence Needed to Sustain Medical Negligence Claims

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.

Proving Liability for Medical Negligence

In analyzing the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the court noted that the plaintiff appropriately exhausted his administrative remedies, as required in claims against the federal government pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act. The court stated, though, that the plaintiff was required to produce an expert report on the standard of care in support of most of his claims but failed to do so. Thus, the court dismissed all of the plaintiff’s claims with the exception of one, which pertained to the frequency with which the plaintiff was bathed.

As to the remaining claim, the court noted that summary judgment should be granted if a party shows that there is no true dispute as to a genuine material fact, and therefore, the party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The court explained that the party seeking summary judgment bears the burden of proving that the evidence of record and expert affidavits demonstrate that no dispute regarding a material issue exists. If the moving party meets this burden, the non-moving party can only defeat the motion but showing that there is a valid factual dispute that requires a trial. In the subject case, however, the plaintiff did not produce evidence sufficient to show that such a dispute existed. Thus, summary judgment was granted.

Confer with a Knowledgeable Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

People injured following surgical procedures need evidence sufficient to demonstrate medical malpractice to recover damages. If you were harmed by medical negligence the knowledgeable Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of your potential claims and gather the facts and evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of a favorable result. You can reach us through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to schedule a meeting.

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