Maryland Court Discusses Requirements for Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims

Under Maryland law, a plaintiff pursuing medical malpractice claims must comply with certain prerequisites. For example, they must file a statement of claim, certificate of qualified expert and report, and claim form with the Maryland Health Claims Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO) within six months of the date of harm. As recently discussed by a Maryland court, however, the failure to do so will not automatically result in the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims against the federal government in federal court. If you sustained losses due to a careless physician, you should meet with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what steps you must take to protect your rights.

Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff, a veteran, sought treatment from a federally owned military hospital for plantar warts on his foot. He underwent a surgical removal of the warts after which he experienced extreme pain. His symptoms would not abate despite continuous treatment. He subsequently file an administrative claim related to his care with the Navy.

Reportedly, his claim was denied, after which he commenced a medical malpractice claim against the federal government. After he filed the lawsuit, he filed a statement of claim, certificate of qualified expert and report, and claim form with HCADRO. The defendant then moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s case on the grounds that the documents were filed with HCADRO after the six month deadline proscribed by law.

Requirements for Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims

The court declined to adopt the defendant’s reasoning that dismissal of his case was appropriate due to his failure to comply with the pre-suit requirements within the statutory period. The court agreed with the defendant’s assertion that Maryland law, which applied to the plaintiff’s claim, dictated that he submit the claim form and certificate of qualified expert and report to HCADRO before filing a tort action.

The court clarified, however, that the pre-suit requirements established by Maryland law were inconsistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. As such, they could not apply to claims brought against the federal government in federal court. The court, therefore, agreed with the plaintiff that his initial failure to comply with Maryland’s pre-suit requirements was insufficient grounds for dismissing his claims against the defendant. The court also rejected the defendant’s assertion that the plaintiff’s claims were time barred. Based on the foregoing, the court denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims.

Confer with a Capable Maryland Attorney

There are certain procedures people must comply with before pursuing medical malpractice claims in Maryland, and if they fail to do so, it may negatively impact their rights. If you were harmed by a reckless healthcare provider, it is in your best interest to confer with an attorney. The capable Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can assess the facts of your case and help you to seek the best legal outcome available. 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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