Maryland Court Discusses Expert Opinions in Medical Malpractice Cases

It is well-established that people who suffer harm in the context of medical care generally must produce expert opinions that both establish the standard of care and link a breach of the standard to their injuries. If a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case fails to provide an expert report, their claims may be dismissed, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued in a Maryland case. If you were hurt by the inappropriate acts of a treatment provider, you could be owed monetary damages, and it is prudent to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, a veteran with disabilities, visited the Veterans Affairs medical center for care. During her visit, an employee entered the examination room when she was partially undressed and undergoing a medical procedure. He then proceeded to make inappropriate telephone calls to her. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant federal government, alleging professional negligence and other claims.

Allegedly, the plaintiff asserted that the defendant’s employee’s negligent conduct caused her to suffer psychological and physical injuries. The defendant filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment on the grounds that she failed to provide medical expert evidence establishing causation.

Expert Testimony in Medical Malpractice Cases

Under Maryland law, the elements of a professional negligence action are similar to those of a standard negligence claim. Specifically, a plaintiff must demonstrate a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff, a breach of the duty owed, damages, and a causal link between the damages and the breach. The duty imposed on a medical professional, however, is to comply with the standard of care that applies to their practice.

In a case in which the plaintiff alleges they suffered health consequences due to a negligent act, the issue of causation is a complicated medical question that must be addressed by medical experts, who must offer proof of what they believe to be the cause of the underlying harm. In the subject case, the court noted that the plaintiff failed to offer expert evidence showing that the defendant’s allegedly negligent acts caused her to suffer physical and psychological health issues. While the plaintiff argued she would retain an expert in the future, the court saw no reason to grant her request for an extension to do so. Thus, it granted the defendant’s motion.

Contact an Experienced Maryland Attorney

People who suffer damages at the hands of their treatment providers can often recover compensation, but only if they provide evidence sufficient to demonstrate fault. If you have questions regarding your right to pursue a medical malpractice claim, it is smart to contact an attorney. The experienced Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can assess the facts of your case and advise you of what claims you may be able to set forth. You can contact us via our online form or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a consultation.

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