Court Discusses the Evidence Needed to Establish Medical Negligence

In the majority of medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff will aver that the defendant acted negligently rather than intentionally. Thus, a plaintiff generally must establish, among other things, that the defendant owed them a duty in order to establish liability in a medical malpractice case; if they cannot, their claim may be dismissed, as demonstrated in a recent opinion delivered in a medical malpractice case. If you suffered harm because of inadequate medical care, it is essential to consult a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to assess what evidence you must produce to recover compensation.

The Facts of the Case

 It is reported that while the plaintiff was confined to a treatment facility, he willingly took a pill that was prescribed to another patient. He subsequently developed priapism and requested that a correctional officer call for medical treatment, but his requests went unheeded for an extended period of time. He asserts that the delays caused him to suffer permanent impotence. He subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, the entity that operated the treatment center, alleging that its medical negligence caused his harm. The defendant then moved for summary judgment in its favor.

Evidence Needed to Establish Medical Negligence

The court granted the defendant’s motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. The court explained that the plaintiff was required to offer evidence that demonstrated that the defendant was bound by a certain standard of care, it deviated from the standard, and the deviation caused the plaintiff’s harm.

The court began by noting that while contributory negligence is usually an issue that must be decided by the jury, it was clear in this case that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent in that he voluntarily ingested a pill that he knew was not prescribed to him. Thus, his claims were barred under the applicable law.

Further, the court explained that it was undisputed that the defendant had a duty to provide the plaintiff with competent medical care, but the plaintiff failed to offer any evidence demonstrating that the defendant did not oblige with its duties.

In other words, he offered no actual evidence that the correctional officer failed to request care on his behalf as he requested, only mere speculation. The court stated that this was insufficient to demonstrate that a material issue of fact existed as to whether the defendant breached a duty owed to the plaintiff. Thus, it granted the defendant’s motion.

Meet with an Experienced Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

Doctors and nurses must render treatment in a thorough and careful manner, to avoid causing their patients to suffer undue harm. If you were hurt because of the incompetence of a healthcare provider, you might have grounds for pursuing damages in a medical malpractice case, and you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The experienced Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can inform you of your rights and aid you in pursuing the best legal outcome possible under the facts of your case. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.

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