Maryland Court Explains Procedural Requirements in Medical Malpractice Cases

Maryland imposes strict requirements on parties that wish to pursue medical malpractice claims. Specifically, among other things, the Maryland Code dictates that a person that wants to seek damages from a health care provider for harm related to their treatment must first fulfill certain procedural requirements. If they neglect to do so, their claim will most likely be dismissed, as demonstrated in a recent opinion issued by a Maryland court. If you were harmed by inadequate medical treatment, it is wise to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to determine your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff and his wife sought fertility treatment from the defendant. They underwent an IVF procedure, during which ten eggs were retrieved and fertilized. Due to COVID-19, embryo transfers were prohibited for a period of time. The plaintiff requested and ultimately received a transfer of the couple’s embryos to another facility. Due to dissatisfaction with communication with the defendant, a dispute over charges, and other issues, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit asserting claims against the defendant. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint due to procedural defects. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Procedural Requirements for Seeking Damages for Medical Malpractice

On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. The court explained that a plaintiff that wishes to pursue a medical malpractice case must submit a claim to the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO) Director. They must also file a Certificate of Qualified Expert with the HCADRO director. Filing the claim and certificate with the HCADRO director are conditions precedent that must be met prior to filing an action in court.

The plaintiff argued that their claims sounded in civil fraud, not medical malpractice, and therefore the requirements for filing a medical malpractice claim did not apply. The court declined to adopt this reasoning, stating that the plaintiff sought medical treatment from the defendant, and his claims arose out of the allegedly negligent performance of such treatment. Further, as the defendant fell under the definition of a freestanding ambulatory surgical facility, it constituted a health care provider as defined by the Maryland code.

Thus, the court found that the plaintiff’s complaint asserted medical malpractice claims. As the plaintiff failed to comply with the statutory requirements for pursuing such claims, the court found that the dismissal of the plaintiff’s case was required. As such, it affirmed the trial court ruling.

Talk to a Trusted Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

People harmed by incompetent medical care can often recover damages in medical malpractice claims, but they must act promptly; otherwise, they may waive the right to seek compensation. If you were harmed by a negligent physician, it is smart to talk to an attorney promptly. The trusted Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and resources needed to help you seek a just outcome, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us through our online form or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.

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