It is not uncommon for parties in medical malpractice actions to ultimately settle instead of proceeding to trial. In such instances, the settlement agreement is enforceable. As such, if the defendant does not make payments as required under the agreement, the plaintiff can file a complaint for confessed judgment in order to recover the amount owed in the settlement, as discussed in a recent Maryland case. If you were harmed by the negligence of a healthcare provider, it is smart to contact a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your rights.
Procedural Setting of the Case
It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a Complaint for Confessed Judgment against the defendant doctor and medical practice in August 2023. The case was referred to the undersigned to a court which subsequently noted uncertainty about its subject matter jurisdiction over the dispute and allowed the plaintiff to submit an Amended Complaint addressing the jurisdictional issue. The plaintiff complied by submitting an Amended Complaint for Confessed Judgment.
Reportedly, the background of the case involved a medical negligence lawsuit initiated by the plaintiff against the defendants in April 2014. In July 2020, a settlement agreement was reached during a settlement conference, and the court dismissed the case, documenting the settlement terms. The settlement agreement required the defendants to make payments to the plaintiff in installments. The dispute in the present case arose when the defendants failed to make the seventh and eighth installments, leading to the Amended Complaint.
Confessed Judgments in Medical Malpractice Actions
The court ultimately recommended that the Clerk of the Court enter a confessed judgment in favor of the plaintiff against all defendants, jointly and severally, for the remaining balance under the Settlement Agreement and accrued late fees.
In doing so, the court followed the legal standard outlined in Local Rule 108.1(a), which requires a plaintiff seeking the entry of confessed judgment to file a Complaint along with certain documents and an affidavit. Local Rule 108.1(a) then directs the court to enter judgment upon finding that the documents attached to the Complaint prima facie establish the defendant’s voluntary waiver of certain rights and the plaintiff’s meritorious claim for liquidated damages.
In this case, the plaintiff attached the Settlement Agreement, which outlined the agreed installment payments and the consequences of default. The court found that the Settlement Agreement authorized the entry of confessed judgment and demonstrated the plaintiff’s entitlement to liquidated damages. The court also reviewed the affidavit of the plaintiff’s counsel, which provided details regarding the circumstances of the defendants’ default.
After examining the Amended Complaint, the court found that the Settlement Agreement made a prima facie showing of the defendants’ voluntary waiver of rights and the plaintiff’s meritorious claim for confessed judgment. Consequently, the court recommended that the Clerk of the Court enter a confessed judgment in favor of the plaintiff against all defendants.
Confer with a Skilled Maryland Attorney
Doctors who harm recklessly harm patients should be held responsible for any losses they cause. If you were injured by the acts of a negligent doctor, the skilled Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at Arfaa Law Group can inform you of your potential claims and what measures you can take to protect your interests. To set up a meeting, you can contact us through our online form or by calling (410) 889-1850.