Maryland Court Explains Evidence of Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases

In Maryland medical malpractice cases, a plaintiff who establishes a defendant’s liability may be granted damages for their economic harm, including the cost of any past medical care and future care they will need and lost wages. To recover such damages, however, they must adequately demonstrate their actual financial losses. In a recent Maryland medical malpractice case, the court analyzed what constitutes sufficient evidence of the economic harm caused by a defendant’s negligence. If you sustained losses because of a careless doctor, it is prudent to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss your rights.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff sued the defendant doctor and the defendant hospital for alleged medical malpractice following a car accident that injured his right leg. The plaintiff asserted a medical negligence against the defendant doctor and an apparent agency claim against the defendant. During the trial, the defendant moved for summary judgment regarding apparent agency, and the court delayed its ruling.

Reportedly, after the trial, both the defendants moved for summary judgment arguing that there was insufficient evidence of economic damages, and the court again delayed its ruling. The jury ultimately found in favor of the plaintiff and determined that the defendant doctor was an agent of the defendant hospital. Both defendants filed motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict on economic damages, and the court denied these motions. The defendants then appealed.

Evidence Supporting Economic Damages in Maryland Medical Malpractice Cases

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, the court explained that a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict should be granted only if no rational ground exists under the law to uphold the jury’s verdict. In other words, the court cannot overturn the jury’s decision unless it finds that there is no legal basis supporting the verdict.

Having established these principles, the court examined the specific economic damages awarded to the plaintiff. These damages included attendant care, prostheses, and a wheelchair van. The defendant argued that these damages were not directly related to the loss of the plaintiff’s right leg but were instead due to preexisting injuries.

The court then considered the expert testimony provided during the trial. The plaintiff presented expert witnesses who testified about the plaintiff’s increased need for attendant care, prostheses, and a wheelchair van resulting from the loss of his right leg. The defendant countered with its own expert witness who disagreed with these assessments.

While the court acknowledged that there was a difference of opinion between the plaintiff’s experts and the defendant’s expert, it stressed that such a disagreement among expert witnesses does not render the evidence insufficient. The jury, in its role, was tasked with weighing the credibility and persuasiveness of the expert testimony presented by both sides.

The court ultimately concluded that the plaintiff’s expert testimony and the evidence provided were not speculative but instead met the legal threshold for supporting the damages awarded by the jury.

Therefore, the trial court did not err in denying the defendant’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict on damages, and it upheld the damages award to the plaintiff.

Talk to a Capable Maryland Attorney

When doctors commit medical malpractice they cause their patients to sustain not only physical harm but also financial losses as well. If you are the victim of negligent medical care, it is smart to talk to an attorney about your rights. The capable Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of your options and aid you in seeking a just outcome. 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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