Maryland Court Dismisses Medical Malpractice Claim Due to Inadequate Allegations of Negligence

There are many actions that can cause significant harm to hospital patients that do not clearly constitute medical malpractice. Thus, in any medical malpractice case, it is critical for the plaintiff to allege facts that demonstrate that the defendant breached the standard of care that applies to parties in the defendant’s profession; otherwise, the plaintiff’s claims may be dismissed. This was shown in a recent Maryland case, in which the court dismissed a plaintiff’s claims due to the plaintiff’s failure to set forth any facts that demonstrated that the defendant engaged in malpractice.  If you sustained damages due to negligent treatment by a healthcare provider, it is critical to retain a skilled Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assist you in gathering the evidence needed to help you recover damages.

The Plaintiff’s Alleged Harm

Reportedly, the plaintiff’s child was born at the defendant medical center in 1978. The plaintiff alleged that his child was switched at birth due to the gross negligence of the defendant and that the switch was subsequently hidden by silence and deception. Thus, in 2019 the plaintiff filed a pro se complaint alleging a medical malpractice claim against the defendant, and the case was moved to federal court. The plaintiff filed a motion to default, and the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint, and in the alternative, a motion to require the plaintiff to file a more definite statement. After reviewing the pleadings, the court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss.

Allegations Sufficient to Withstand a Motion to Dismiss

Pursuant to the federal rules of civil procedure, a plaintiff’s complaint must set forth facts that are adequate to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face, in order for the complaint to survive a motion to dismiss. In other words, the plaintiff’s complaint must contain allegations that are sufficient to provide the defendant with fair notice of the claims against it and the grounds for which the plaintiff alleges he or she is entitled to relief.

A plaintiff’s complaint does not need to contain detailed factual averments to withstand a motion to dismiss. However, the federal rules of civil procedure do not contemplate the dismissal of a complaint that imperfectly states the legal theories supporting a plaintiff’s claim. Notably, though, a plaintiff cannot rely on speculation and bald allegations to support his or her claims. As such, a complaint that only sets forth legal conclusions and blanket recitations of the elements of a cause of action will be deemed insufficient. In sum, the complaint must include enough facts that, if taken as true, would allow the plaintiff to recover damages.

In the subject case, the court found that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Even if they were not, however, the court stated that the plaintiff’s complaint was insufficient in that it did not set forth factual allegations that described any specific acts undertaken by the defendant or the defendant’s employees that would provide the basis for a medical malpractice claim. The court, therefore, dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint.

Meet with a Seasoned Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you sustained an injury or loss due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, you may be able to recover damages and should speak to a lawyer regarding your options. The skillful Maryland medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are dedicated to helping people harmed by the carelessness of healthcare providers recover compensation and will tirelessly pursue any damages you may be owed. We can be reached through our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to schedule a meeting.

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