Maryland Court Explains Requirements of the Health Care Malpractice Claims Act

In Maryland, healthcare providers that provide incompetent treatment can be held accountable for any damages that subsequently arise from their incompetence via medical malpractice claims asserted in state court. Patients pursuing medical malpractice claims against their doctors must comply with the procedural requirements established by Maryland law, however. If they do not, their claims may be dismissed, regardless of whether they are valid. This was demonstrated recently in a Maryland ruling in which the court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiff’s case due to her failure to comply with the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Act (HCMCA). If you sustained losses due to the carelessness of your doctor, it is smart to confer with an experienced Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

Allegedly, the plaintiff’s daughter died in December 2017. The medical examiner determined that she died due to Diltiazem intoxication and ruled the death a suicide. Following the decedent’s death, however, the plaintiff found a prescription provided to the decedent by the defendant doctor for a daily dosage of 480 mg of Diltiazem. Thus, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging the decedent’s Diltiazem intoxication was provoked by the defendant’s prescription. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint on the grounds that she failed to comply with the requirements of the HCMCA prior to pursuing her claims. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff filed an appeal.

The Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Act

On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling. The appellate court explained that the HCMCA demands that all claims against a health care provider in which the plaintiff seeks damages for a medical injury must be filed with the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO). Among other things, the HCADRO administers a non-binding arbitration procedure. Pursuant to Maryland law, if a plaintiff files a medical malpractice lawsuit without first filing a claim with the HCMCA, the court must dismiss the case. In the subject action, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants, all of whom were health care providers, negligently treated her daughter, thereby causing her death.

As such, the appellate court affirmed that the provisions of the HCMCA applied. As the record did not indicate that the plaintiff submitted her claims to the HCADRO to be arbitrated before filing her complaint, the trial court was compelled to dismiss her claims. Further, the court noted that even if the plaintiff had complied with the HCMCA, she failed to set forth claims that would allow relief to be granted. As such, the appellate court affirmed the dismissal of her complaint.

Meet with an Assertive Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

While doctors are required to exercise their knowledge and skill when treating patients, it is not uncommon for patients to suffer harm due to medical negligence. If you were hurt by the incompetence of your doctor, it is smart to meet with an attorney to discuss what you must prove to recover damages. The assertive Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of your potential claims and help you to pursue justice for your losses. You can reach us through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.



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