Maryland Court Examines Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases

Under Maryland law, people harmed by incompetent medical care have the right to assert medical malpractice claims against the providers responsible for their losses. They must act promptly, however, because if they wait too long to seek compensation, they may waive the right to do so. It may not always be clear when harm arises, and the statute of limitation begins to run, though. As explained in a recent Maryland medical malpractice case, a cause of action accrues when negligence first causes a patient harm. If you were hurt by ineffectual medical care, it is advisable to contact a Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss your possible claims.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff began experiencing numbness in her hands in 2008. That same year, she consulted the defendant and underwent MRI studies. In 2010, she developed balance and pronunciation issues, leading to another MRI and consultation with the defendant. Over the years, she experienced various symptoms, leading to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2017. In 2020, the plaintiff filed a medical negligence claim against the defendant. The defendants moved for summary judgment, asserting that the claims were time-barred under the statute of limitations. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the court viewed the facts of the case in a light most favorable to the plaintiff but ultimately affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, the court noted that the central issue was the determination of when the injury occurred for statute of limitations purposes. The defendants argued that the symptoms the plaintiff experienced in 2011 constituted an injury, making her claim time-barred. The plaintiff contended that the harm sufficient to trigger the statute of limitations did not occur until her MS diagnosis in 2017.

The court noted that the trial court, after considering the uncontradicted expert testimony and the plaintiff’s admissions, ruled in favor of the defendants and found that the injury occurred no later than 2011. Consequently, the trial court granted summary judgment, declaring the plaintiff’s claims time-barred under Maryland law.

The court explained that the trial court’s decision was based on the principle that the statute of limitations starts running when the allegedly negligent act is first coupled with harm, regardless of whether the injury was reasonably discoverable. As the court found that the trial court’s decision was without error, it affirmed the judgment in favor of the defendant.

Meet with an Experienced Maryland Attorney

People who seek medical care for acute or chronic symptoms generally expect that they will receive thorough and appropriate care. Sadly, however, some people not only do not achieve the resolution of their symptoms but also suffer harm due to the carelessness of their treatment providers. If you were hurt due to a negligent doctor, you should meet with an attorney. The experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at Arfaa Law Group can inform you of your rights and help you to seek any damages you may be owed.  To schedule a meeting, you can contact us through our online form or by calling (410) 889-1850.

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