Maryland Court Discusses the Right to Intervene in Medical Malpractice Cases

Parents anticipating the birth of their children typically do not expect problems to arise during their delivery. Tragically, however, some infants die shortly after they are born due to errors made by medical professionals. While parents who lose their children due to birth injuries have the right to seek compensation for their losses, when the paternity of a deceased child is not clear, it may impact the father’s right to pursue claims against negligent healthcare providers. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling, in which the court affirmed the dismissal of the putative father’s claims. If your child sustained an injury at birth, it is prudent to speak to a Maryland birth injury attorney about your rights as soon as possible.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the mother, how was expecting twins, was treated by the defendant obstetricians throughout her pregnancy. The twins were delivered by the defendants, and sadly, one twin died shortly thereafter. The paternity of the twins was disputed, and the plaintiff filed an action to establish paternity. A DNA test revealed him to be the father, but the court did not issue an order to that effect.

Allegedly, the mother explored the option of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit and entered into a stipulation with the defendant in which the defendant agreed to toll the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim. The mother later filed claims against the defendant. The plaintiff moved to intervene, but the mother objected to the motion on the grounds that it was untimely. His motion was denied, and he appealed.

The Right to Intervene in Medical Malpractice Cases

After reviewing the facts and pleadings of the case, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling. The court stated that pursuant to Maryland statutes of limitations and procedural rules, the plaintiff’s motion was untimely as it was filed more than three years after the date of the infant’s death. Thus, the director of the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office had the authority to deny the motion.

Further, the court noted that the sole remedy for challenging the director’s decision was to file a notice of rejection and then file civil claims to nullify the decision. In other words, it was well-established law that the Health Care Malpractice Claims Act was a mandatory framework for the resolution of health claims and that the Act unequivocally asserts the exclusivity of its procedures. Thus, no malpractice action may be brought in any court unless it complies with the Act. As the plaintiff failed to abide by the Act, the court affirmed the dismissal of his claims.

Speak to an Experienced Maryland Attorney  

Parents who suffer the loss of their children due to preventable medical errors have the right to seek damages from the providers responsible for their harm. If your child suffered a birth injury, you should speak to an attorney regarding your possible claims. The experienced Maryland birth injury attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can craft a compelling case to help you seek the full amount of compensation recoverable under the law. You can contact us through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to schedule a meeting.

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