Court Discusses Lack of Informed Consent Claims Under Maryland Law

Many medications cause known side effects. Typically, however, a doctor prescribing a drug will determine the benefits outweigh the dangers of taking them. Doctors cannot make this determination for their patients, though, and therefore they have an obligation to advise them of the risks of harm associated with the treatment they recommend. If they do not, they may be held responsible for losses their patients subsequently suffer, even if they arise out of established risks. Lack of informed consent claims must be filed in a timely manner; however, otherwise, they may be time-barred, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued by a Maryland court. If you sustained injuries due to your doctor’s failure to advise of the risks associated with a treatment, you should meet with a knowledgeable Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that in 2010, the plaintiff was treated by the defendant pulmonologist due to complaints of shortness of breath and a chronic cough. The defendant diagnosed the plaintiff with numerous lung conditions and initial treated him with a steroid. When the plaintiff did not improve, the defendant doctor prescribed Cytoxan. He slowly began to improve and continued to take the medication until May 2013.

Allegedly, the plaintiff married in 2016. After trying to conceive for a year with no success, he visited a fertility specialist, who determined he had no viable sperm. The specialist attributed this to Cytoxan toxicity. The plaintiff then filed a lack of informed consent claim against the defendant. The defendant moved for dismissal, arguing the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations.

Lack of Informed Consent Claims Under Maryland Law

Under Maryland law, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, including lack of informed consent, is three years from the date of discovery of the injury or five years from the date the injury occurred, whichever is earlier. In the subject case, the parties disagreed as to whether the harm in question occurred when the plaintiff became sterile or when he discovered his permanent infertility. The court noted that in assessing whether an injury has been committed, the key inquiry is whether the patient suffered losses that are legally cognizable. Thus, in the subject case, the statute of limitations began to run at the point the plaintiff became sterile, and his claims fell outside of the statute of limitations. As such, the court granted the defendant’ motion.

Speak to an Experienced Maryland Attorney

The failure to obtain a patient’s informed consent before rendering care often constitutes medical malpractice, and parties harmed by their doctor’s neglect may be able to recover damages. If you were hurt by a doctor’s negligent failure to inform you of the risks associated with a treatment, you should speak to an attorney about your options for seeking compensation. The experienced Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are proficient at demonstrating that negligent health care providers should be held accountable for the damages they cause, and if you hire us, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf. We can be reached via our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.





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