Maryland Court Explains Demonstrating Harm Caused by Inadequate Medical Care

People housed in state and federal facilities often require medical care for chronic and acute conditions. If the care they receive is substandard and causes them harm, the provider responsible for their injuries may be deemed liable for medical malpractice. As demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling, however, they must offer adequate proof that the provider breached the applicable standard of care, otherwise their claims may be dismissed. If you were hurt by the carelessness of a doctor, it is wise to meet with a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your possible claims.

Procedural and Factual History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was self-represented and confined to a Maryland correctional facility, filed a lawsuit against the defendants, a warden and a psychologist who worked at the facility. The plaintiff set forth numerous claims, including inadequate medical care, and sought both damages and injunctive relief.  Both defendants filed separate Motions to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment, arguing, among other things, immunity, failure to exhaust administrative remedies, and lack of personal involvement in the causing the plaintiff’s harm.

Demonstrating Harm Caused by Inadequate Medical Care

After reviewing the motions, the court found no need for a hearing. Instead, it granted the defendants’ motions, treating them as motions for summary judgment. The court began by addressing the Eleventh Amendment, determining that claims against the defendants in their official capacities were barred by sovereign immunity.

It then turned to the exhaustion of administrative remedies, emphasizing that the plaintiff failed to file any Administrative Remedy Procedure (ARP) complaint during his incarceration or specifically during the relevant period at the facility in question.

The court considered each defendant separately. With regard to the defendant warden, the court highlighted that the plaintiff provided insufficient evidence of the defendant warden’s personal involvement in the alleged violations of the plaintiff’s constitutional rights or any knowledge of the conditions at the facility. Consequently, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the warden.

Regarding the defendant psychologist, the court scrutinized the plaintiff’s allegations of inadequate medical care. Despite the plaintiff’s claims, the court found that the defendant psychologist had promptly addressed his psychiatric needs, providing appointments within two days of sick call requests. Thus, the court concluded that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate deliberate indifference or any resulting harm, leading to the grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant psychologist.

In conclusion, due to the plaintiff’s failure to establish claims and address the defendants’ arguments, the court granted the defendants’ motions without delving into the remaining issues raised in the motions. The court also granted the warden’s motion to seal the medical records submitted with the motion.

Meet with a Trusted Maryland Attorney

Healthcare providers bear the responsibility of delivering competent care to their patients, regardless of the setting, and when they fail to uphold this duty, they should be deemed responsible for any losses they cause. If you were hurt by the negligence of a healthcare professional, it is advisable to consult with a lawyer promptly. The trusted Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at Arfaa Law Group are well-versed in what it takes to prevail in claims against negligent health care providers, and if you engage our services, we will work tirelessly to help you seek the justice you deserve. To arrange a meeting, you can contact us through our online form or by calling (410) 889-1850.

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