Maryland Court Discusses Procedural Requirements for Pursuing Malpractice Claims

Under Maryland law, a plaintiff alleging harm due to medical malpractice must comply with the procedural requirements for recovering damages from the purportedly negligent provider, regardless of whether the plaintiff is also asserting claims under other legal theories. The repercussions of failing to abide by the procedural duties set forth under the law were recently demonstrated in an ophthalmology malpractice case in which the defendant’s claims were dismissed.  If you sustained injuries or impaired vision due to the negligent acts of an eye doctor, you should confer with a dedicated Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assess what measures you must take to pursue damages for your harm.

Factual History

It is reported that the plaintiff was incarcerated at a correctional facility in Maryland when he was attacked by several inmates. During the assault, he was struck in the left eye, which became swollen and filled with blood. He was transported to a nearby hospital, after which he was transferred to a second hospital that had a shock trauma facility, due to the condition of his left eye. He was originally diagnosed with traumatic optic neuropathy and prescribed eye drops that dilated his pupils. Months later, he requested and received a follow-up, during which it was suggested that he visit an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Allegedly, the defendant ophthalmologist then examined the plaintiff and advised him he had glaucoma in both eyes as well as trauma. He underwent numerous additional examinations with the defendant over the next year. Eventually, he was examined by another practitioner who determined he was suffering from keratoconus, which led to his partial vision loss, and that he had been misdiagnosed by the defendant. The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant and her employers, setting forth numerous claims including medical malpractice. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court granted in part, dismissing the malpractice claims.

Requirements for Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Claim Under Maryland Law

In Maryland, any claim that alleges medical negligence or malpractice under state law must first be presented to the Maryland Health Care Dispute Resolution Office, prior to filing a civil lawsuit. Notably, this obligation must be met regardless of whether a plaintiff chooses to proceed in state court or in the federal district court. In the subject case, the court noted that although the plaintiff repeatedly alleged that the defendants committed medical malpractice and engaged in negligent acts that led to his harm, he did not demonstrate that he fulfilled the requirements set forth under Maryland law. As such, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s malpractice claims.

Meet with an Experienced Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you suffered harm due to the incompetence of an eye doctor or any other health care provider, it is advisable to meet with an attorney to discuss your potential claims. The experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group take pride in helping people pursue damages for the harm caused by medical negligence, and if you retain our services, we will work tirelessly to help you strive for the best legal outcome available under the facts of your case. We can be reached through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a consultation.

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