Maryland Court Discusses Grounds for Granting Summary Judgment in Dental Malpractice Cases

For various reasons, many medical malpractice cases never proceed to trial; some are settled while others are resolved via summary judgment. Either party can seek a summary judgment and the burden of proof is the same for both plaintiffs and defendants. Recently, a Maryland court discussed what a party must prove to obtain judgment in their favor as a matter of law in a dental malpractice case. If you were harmed by a negligent dentist, you should meet with a trusted Maryland dental malpractice lawyer to discuss what damages you may be owed.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff presented to the defendant’s office for potential treatment of dentition. The defendant’s employee discussed a treatment that would entail the removal of her remaining upper teeth and the use of a prosthesis that would be fitted onto dental implants in place of the teeth. The plaintiff consented to the procedure, even though she did not speak to an actual dentist during the visit.

Allegedly, the plaintiff underwent the procedure, after which she experienced poor fit, breakage, and loosening, among other things. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting claims of dental malpractice. After the completion of discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment.

Grounds for Granting Summary Judgment in Dental Malpractice Cases

As the matter was filed in federal court, the federal rules of civil procedure applied. The court explained that pursuant to such rules, the court must grant summary judgment if the moving party demonstrates that there is no true dispute as to any material fact, and therefore the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

The party moving for summary judgment can meet this burden by illustrating the absence of any genuine dispute of material fact or by demonstrating that the non-moving party lacks the evidence needed to support their case. A dispute regarding a material fact will be genuine if the evidence is adequate to allow a reasonable jury to return a verdict in favor of the non-moving party. In turn, the party opposing a motion for summary judgment must set forth specific facts showing that a factual dispute exists rather than relying on the assertions in their pleadings.

In the subject case, the court held that there was adequate evidence to find that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to most of the plaintiff’s claims. As such, it largely denied the defendant’s motion.

Meet with a Maryland Attorney to Discuss Your Case

Improperly performed dental procedures can cause pain, nerve damage, and tooth loss and may be grounds for pursuing dental malpractice claims. If you suffered harm because of the carelessness of a dentist, you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The assertive Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of your rights and help you to seek the full amount of damages recoverable under the law. 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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