Maryland Court Explains Liability for Subsequent Harm in Medical Malpractice Cases

It is not uncommon for patients to change medical providers over the course of their care. Thus, if a provider initially tasked with treating a patient commits medical malpractice, it is possible that a subsequent health care professional could continue the pattern of negligent care, further harming the patient. Each provider’s liability must be independently established in a medical malpractice case, however. This was discussed in a recent Maryland opinion in which the claims against the plaintiff’s second care provider were dismissed after the court found that, as a matter of law, the plaintiff could not recover damages from the second practitioner. If you were hurt by incompetent medical care, you could be owed compensation, and it is advisable to consult a Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding your options.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment and Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was detained at a federal facility, received care from the defendants during his confinement. Specifically, the first defendant cared for the plaintiff from 2014 through 2018, while the second defendant cared for him from 2019 forward. In 2014, he underwent a procedure during which ureteral stents were placed in his kidneys. He was scheduled to return for a follow-up procedure to remove the stents, but it was delayed for approximately two and a half years.

Allegedly, during the time in which his second surgery was delayed, the stents caused him to develop large kidney stones, renal obstruction, infection, and severe damage to his kidneys. Thus, he filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants. The second defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the plaintiff failed to set forth facts sufficient to establish liability.

Liability for Subsequent Harm in Medical Malpractice Cases

The court explained that, in Maryland, a medical malpractice claim is a traditional negligence claim. Thus, it is clear that a plaintiff must prove the defendant had a duty arising out of the applicable standard of care, the defendant breached that duty, injuries caused by the breach, and actual damages.

In the subject case, the court agreed with the second defendant’s assessment and found that the plaintiff failed to plausibly allege negligence as to that defendant. In other words, the plaintiff’s claims arose solely due to events that occurred prior to the second defendant’s care of the plaintiff, and the plaintiff failed to assert facts that would support the allegation that the second defendant breached the standard of care. Instead, the plaintiff’s averments regarding the second defendant amounted to naked assertions of wrongdoings and were therefore inadequate to establish a claim for relief. Thus, the court granted the motion, dismissing the plaintiff’s claims as to the second defendant.

Meet with an Experienced Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you were harmed by the careless treatment of one or more medical providers, it is prudent to meet with an attorney to determine whether you may have a viable claim for damages. The experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are adept at helping parties pursue compensation for their losses, and we will advocate zealously on your behalf. You can reach us via our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a confidential and free consultation.

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