Maryland Court Distinguishes Medical Malpractice From Other Claims

People who are confined in federal facilities often, unfortunately, suffer harm due to inadequate medical care. While such losses are arguably grounds for pursuing medical malpractice claims, they may give rise to other claims as well, and it is important to understand the distinctions and what evidence is needed to demonstrate liability for various claims. In a recent Maryland ruling, the court explained the differences and ultimately ruled that the plaintiff failed to assert facts that would allow him to recover damages. If you were hurt by the negligence of your doctor, you may be owed compensation, and you should consult a Maryland medical malpractice attorney at your earliest convenience.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is alleged that the plaintiff, a state inmate, filed a Section 1983 lawsuit against the defendants, his medical provider during his incarceration, alleging they were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs related to the treatment of a hand injury. Specifically, while he was incarcerated, the plaintiff suffered a hand fracture and underwent surgery to implant a metal plate and pins. After his surgery, the pins became embedded under his skin and infected, requiring additional treatment.

It is reported that the plaintiff alleged the medical providers were deliberately indifferent by failing to properly treat the complications. Following the completion of discovery, the defendants moved for summary judgment, providing exhibits and an affidavit describing the plaintiff’s treatment. Namely, they noted that after the plaintiff’s injury, he was given x-rays, pain medication, referrals to an orthopedic surgeon, antibiotics, and wound care. His on-site doctors consulted with the surgeon regarding follow-up care. The plaintiff opposed summary judgment, disputing aspects of his treatment.

The Distinction Between Medical Malpractice and Other Claims

The court granted summary judgment for the defendants, finding the plaintiff failed to establish deliberate indifference. The court explained deliberate indifference requires showing the defendants knew of and disregarded a serious medical need.

Negligence or medical malpractice alone does not rise to deliberate indifference. Although the plaintiff showed an objectively serious medical condition, the evidence demonstrated the defendants provided significant diagnostic testing, specialist referrals, medications, wound care, and follow-up per the surgeon’s recommendations.

While the plaintiff may have disagreed with his treatment, he provided no evidence the defendants intentionally disregarded his serious medical needs. As mere medical is insufficient to prove a constitutional violation, the court ruled that the defendants were entitled to summary judgment.

Speak to a Capable Maryland Attorney

When doctors recklessly perform their duties, it can cause their patients to suffer significant trauma, and in many instances, it constitutes medical malpractice lawsuit. If you sustained losses due to the negligence of a physician, it is advisable to speak to an attorney about what compensation you might be able to recover. The capable Maryland lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can assess the facts of your case and advise you of what claims you may be able to set forth in the pursuit of justice. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.

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