Maryland Court Discusses Motions in Limine in Medical Malpractice Cases

Parties in medical malpractice cases typically rely heavily on expert testimony and other evidence to establish their positions; if a party is precluded from offering certain evidence, they may be unable to prove their assertions. As such, it is not uncommon for parties in medical malpractice cases to file motions in limine prior to trial, asking the courts to limit what evidence their opponents are permitted to introduce. In a recent Maryland medical malpractice case arising out of a negligently performed spinal surgery, a court explained the grounds for granting motions in limine. If you were injured due to the carelessness of your surgeon, it is wise to confer with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about what claims you may be able to pursue.

The History of the Case

Allegedly, the defendant performed a lumbar endoscopic discectomy on the plaintiff. The plaintiff experienced extreme pain following the procedure. During a surgical follow-up visit, the defendant advised the plaintiff that she may have re-herniated one of the discs he repaired and that she had residual scar tissue surrounding her spine. The plaintiff underwent two additional procedures on her back that were performed by other physicians but continued to experience pain.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant, alleging that he negligently performed the procedure and failed to provide adequate post-operative care. The defendant set forth several affirmative defenses in response to the plaintiff’s complaint. The parties each retained experts; prior to trial, they both filed motions in limine.

Grounds for Granting Motions in Limine in Medical Malpractice Cases

The court explained that motions in limine facilitate the trial process by allowing the court to rule on certain evidentiary issues prior to trial, as to matters that will definitely be addressed during the trial. Motions in limine asking the court to preclude evidence call upon the court to make preliminary decisions regarding the admissibility of evidence.

The courts have ample discretion in determining whether to preclude or admit evidence at trial and whether to allow comments, arguments, or questions. In the subject case, the plaintiff filed a motion in limine to prevent the defendant from introducing evidence regarding his affirmative defenses and to limit the testimony of his expert.

The court granted the plaintiff’s motion as to the affirmative defenses on the grounds that the defendant failed to provide a factual basis for the defenses but denied the motion with regard to the expert testimony. Additionally, the court granted the defendant’s motion to limit the plaintiff’s testimony in part.

Meet with a Capable Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

Expert evidence is a critical component of Maryland medical malpractice cases, and parties that are barred from offering such evidence most likely will not prevail. If you were harmed by a negligent healthcare provider, you could be owed damages, and you should meet with an attorney. The capable Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law possess the skills and experience needed to help you seek a just outcome, and if you hire us, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf. You can reach us by calling us at (410) 889-1850 or using our form online to set up a meeting.

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