Maryland Court Discusses Rules of Procedure in Medical Malpractice Cases

It is not uncommon for people harmed by medical malpractice to suffer additional harm at the hands of their healthcare providers. While those individuals harmed by medical negligence are permitted to pursue multiple causes of action against their healthcare providers in the same lawsuit, they must nonetheless comply with any applicable procedural rules and statutes of limitations. If they fail to do so, they may be barred from pursuing certain claims, as illustrated in a recent Maryland ruling. If you suffered harm due to incompetent medical care, it is advisable to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about what claims you may be able to pursue.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in January 2020. He named several parties as defendants, including a hospital where he underwent a surgical procedure. Subsequently, in July and August of 2022, more than two years after the plaintiff filed his initial complaint, he moved to amend the complaint to add new claims against the hospital for gross negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation, and punitive damages. In support of his motion to amend the complaint, the plaintiff stated he discovered new supporting facts in the months prior to his proposed amendment.

It is reported that the trial court denied the motions to amend, explaining that the new claims were brought too late after the initial filing, set forth different legal theories of liability, and were proposed after discovery had closed. The court also found the plaintiff failed to explain why facts he received two months before discovery ended necessitated the amendment. The plaintiff then moved for reconsideration.

Procedural Rules in Maryland Medical Malpractice Cases

The court denied the motion for reconsideration. In doing so, the court explained Rule 54(b) provides that any ruling or determination that addresses only a subset of claims or the rights and obligations of a limited number of involved parties does not bring the entire case to a conclusion.

Rather, such a partial decision remains open to revision until a final judgment is rendered encompassing all claims and the comprehensive spectrum of parties’ rights and responsibilities.

As such, for a motion seeking reconsideration under Rule 54(b), the moving party must substantiate one of the following conditions: firstly, a significant alteration in legal precedent; secondly, the emergence of previously unavailable supplementary evidence; or thirdly, the recognition that the original decision was predicated upon apparent error or would yield glaring inequity.

In the subject case, the court found the plaintiff improperly sought to re-litigate issues already rejected when the court denied the motions to amend. For example, the plaintiff re-argued the evidence received before discovery closed necessitated amending the complaint, despite the court previously rejecting this. Given the plaintiff failed to meet the reconsideration standards, the court denied the motion.

Meet with an Experienced Maryland Attorney

Doctors have an obligation to offer their patients competent care, and if they neglect to do so and their patients suffer harm as a result, they should be held accountable. If you were hurt by the carelessness of your treatment provider, you might be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, and you should meet with an attorney. The experienced Maryland lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of your rights and aid you in pursuing the full amount of damages recoverable under the law. You can contact us through our online form or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.

Contact Information