Maryland Court Explains Evidence Needed to Sustain a Medical Malpractice Case

Maryland law allows people who suffer harm due to negligently rendered medical care to seek compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Even if there is ample evidence of inadequate treatment, however, medical professionals will often seek to have the claims against them dismissed prior to trial. As recently explained by a Maryland court, however, such requests for dismissals will only be granted if there is no genuine dispute as to whether the provider harmed their patient. If you sustained losses due to the carelessness of your treatment provider, it is advisable to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was housed in a federal facility when he slipped and fell down a flight of stairs, injuring his wrist. He sought medical attention from a doctor employed by the defendant, who observed swelling and angulation in the plaintiff’s wrist and recommended an emergency room visit. The plaintiff visited an emergency room on the same day, where X-rays confirmed a fracture of the distal radius. The emergency room staff treated him and advised him to follow up with an orthopedist within a week.

Allegedly, upon returning to the facility, the plaintiff reported to the doctor employed by the defendant, who was aware of the recommended orthopedist visit. However, the doctor did not enter a consult request conforming to the recommendation until approximately four weeks later. Eventually, the plaintiff was seen by an offsite orthopedic surgeon who recommended surgery as soon as possible. He underwent surgery a month later, but it failed to fully treat his wrist, leading to additional surgeries and procedures in the following years. The plaintiff subsequently brought a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant. Following discovery, the defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims.

Evidence Needed to Sustain a Medical Malpractice Claim

The court ultimately denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss. In doing so, it explained that to succeed in a medical malpractice negligence action, a plaintiff must prove duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Expert testimony is often required to establish a breach of the standard of care and causation.

In the subject case, the defendant argued that the plaintiff failed to identify any of its employees for whom it seeks liability, did not produce admissible evidence of the standard of care and that the timing of the plaintiff’s surgery did not cause his injury. The court disagreed, however, finding that there was a genuine dispute of material fact regarding whether the defendant’s employees breached the standard of care owed to the plaintiff.  Specifically, the plaintiff retained an orthopedic surgeon who opined that the type of fracture the plaintiff suffered requires timely intervention through surgery. As such, the court denied the defendant’s motion, allowing the case to proceed.

Talk to a Dedicated Maryland Attorney

Doctors have a duty to offer their patients timely and competent care, and if they fail to do so, they may be liable for medical malpractice. If you sustained harm because of a doctor’s negligence, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney. The dedicated Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can inform you of your potential claims and aid you in seeking any damages you may be owed. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.

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