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Paramedics and EMTs often provide people suffering from critical health issues with medical assistance. Emergency medical professionals have broad immunity under Maryland law and typically can only be held liable for harm suffered by people in their care in cases involving gross negligence. In a recent Maryland opinion, a court explained what constitutes gross negligence and what a plaintiff must establish to recover damages from a paramedic in a case in which the plaintiff fell and broke her leg while walking to an ambulance. If you were injured while being treated by a paramedic, you could be owed damages, and it is advisable to talk to an attorney to discuss your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered an acute psychiatric incident that caused her to threaten suicide. Her caregiver called 911, and the defendant dispatched an ambulance to the plaintiff’s residence. Upon arrival, the paramedics evaluated the plaintiff and determined that she should be taken to a hospital for further treatment. When the plaintiff got to the hospital, she exited the ambulance without assistance and twisted her ankle, and fell.

Reportedly, the plaintiff suffered a fibula fracture in the fall and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the negligence of the paramedics that tended to her ultimately led to her harm. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, arguing that numerous statutes rendered it immune. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.    Continue Reading

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Typically, people suffering from critical medical issues will visit an emergency department of a hospital. Medical professionals working in emergency departments triage patients according to the severity of their complaints, and it is unfortunately not uncommon for a patient to have to wait for an extended period of time prior to receiving treatment. Delays in treatment, absent some degree of harm, do not typically constitute medical negligence, as was discussed in a recent ruling in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against a hospital due to a lack of damages. If you suffered harm because of inadequate care in an emergency room, it is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer about your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Care

Allegedly, the plaintiff visited the emergency department of the defendant hospital with complaints of dizziness and a rapid heartbeat and breathing. He was checked in, and shortly thereafter, a nurse took his vital signs. He was then assessed by a doctor and underwent a series of diagnostic exams. After an extended wait, a second doctor advised the plaintiff he was being discharged. He was sent home without a diagnosis half an hour later. The plaintiff then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging in part that the defendant committed medical negligence by failing to properly treat the plaintiff. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, which the court ultimately granted.

Demonstrating Medical Negligence

Upon review, the court found that the plaintiff’s medical negligence claim was insubstantial, in that the plaintiff failed to allege the facts necessary to recover under the applicable laws. Specifically, the court noted that in order to establish the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, the defendant’s behavior constituted a breach of the duty owed and that damages to the plaintiff’s interests were proximately caused by the defendant’s breach. The court elaborated that proving the defendant’s negligence would require the plaintiff to establish the standard of care by showing what a reasonably prudent physician practicing in the same specialty as the defendant would have done in the same or similar circumstances. Continue Reading

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Defendants in medical malpractice cases usually will not admit liability. Instead, in many instances, they will seek to have the claims against them dismissed. To avoid dismissal, a plaintiff must set forth certain factual allegations in the initial pleading and then obtain the evidence needed to support those assertions via discovery. A plaintiff in a medical malpractice case that files a complaint that meets the level of specificity required to pursue claims, though, should be permitted to engage in discovery before the court considers dismissing his or her case. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling, in which the defendant ophthalmologist asked the court to grant summary judgment before any meaningful discovery had been conducted. If you were harmed by a negligent ophthalmologist, it is prudent to speak to a skilled Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is alleged that the defendant ophthalmologist diagnosed the plaintiff with a cataract in his right eye, which was described as mature. Initially, the defendant recommended surgical removal of the cataract, but he later determined that the plaintiff was not an appropriate surgical candidate. The plaintiff sought treatment over the next year but did not have another appointment until approximately fourteen months after his initial diagnosis. He had numerous treatment appointments over the next year and a half, during which the vision in his right eye decreased. At each appointment, the defendant advised he was not a surgical candidate.

Reportedly, he then underwent a surgery that was performed by another practitioner. The procedure restored his vision to 20/20. He filed a federal lawsuit against the defendant, alleging medical negligence and other claims. The defendant filed a motion that was deemed a motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, a motion for summary judgment. Continue Reading

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Medical malpractice claims are generally more complex than other matters, and those asserted against employees of the federal government are especially complicated. Thus, plaintiffs pursuing medical negligence cases against federally employed defendants must take special care to follow proper procedures; otherwise, their claims may be terminated. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling, in which a pro se plaintiff’s claims against a doctor were dismissed due to his failure to abide by state and federal law in filing his lawsuit. If you were injured by the incompetence of a health care provider, it is advisable to meet with a practiced Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assess your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was in a federal facility, received inadequate medical care from the defendant doctors who worked at the facility despite his repeated requests. He filed numerous claims against the defendants in a federal lawsuit, including medical malpractice claims. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, a motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff sought and received an extension but ultimately failed to file a response to the motion. The court, upon reviewing the pleadings, found in favor of the defendants and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Medical Malpractice Claims Against Agents of the Federal Government

The court explained that, with regards to suits against the federal government, the United States is protected from liability via the doctrine of sovereign immunity, except where it has explicitly waived its immunity to suit. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) expressly waives the sovereign immunity of the United States for specific torts committed by its employees. Continue Reading

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People harmed by negligent medical care have the right to seek compensation from the providers that caused their harm. There are certain requirements a person must comply with prior to pursuing medical malpractice claims, though, and the failure to do so can result in the waiver of the right to recover damages. The conditions precedent to pursuing a claim against a health care practitioner were the topic of a recent opinion issued by a Maryland court in a case in which the plaintiff alleged harm due to the defendant provider’s failure to provide the necessary care. If you were hurt by negligent care, it is prudent to meet with a dedicated Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine what evidence you need to prove liability.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff fractured his finger while playing basketball. A plate was surgically installed in his finger. It was then recommended that he undergo physical therapy and subsequent surgery, but both were delayed several times by the defendants, who were two different health care providers. He never received the follow-up surgery or physical therapy and currently suffers from chronic pain, numbness, and limited range of motion.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a claim with the Maryland Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO) against the defendant and filed certificates of qualified experts. He then filed a medical malpractice case against the defendants, arguing their negligent care caused his harm. The second defendant filed a motion to dismiss, which the court granted. Continue Reading

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Many people with critical health issues require blood transfusions. Blood donors typically undergo thorough screenings, and their donations are tested before they are given to patients, but sometimes errors occur that result in patients becoming ill due to contaminated blood. People hurt by tainted transfusions may be able to recover damages, but as with all other medical malpractice lawsuits, they must prove a departure from the standard of care, which is typically established via expert testimony. The evidence needed to prove medical negligence in a case involving a blood transfusion was the topic of a recent opinion issued by a Maryland court. If you suffered harm due to the carelessness of a health care provider, it is advisable to speak to a skilled Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assess your rights.

The Alleged Harm

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent underwent a blood transfusion while he was at the defendant hospital. The defendant health care company tested the blood prior to its administration, which did not reveal any contamination. Shortly after the decedent received the transfusion, though, he developed symptoms of sepsis. The bag that contained the blood was re-tested and was positive for E.Coli. The decedent died within a few weeks.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants. Depositions were conducted, after which the plaintiff was required to file a certificate of a qualified expert. Plaintiff’s counsel withdrew, however, and the plaintiff did not file the certificate. The defendants then filed motions for summary judgment. Upon review, the court granted the motions. Continue Reading

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In medical malpractice cases, as in all other matters, it is vital that the plaintiff receive a fair trial before an impartial judge. Thus, a plaintiff who believes a judge harbors an implicit bias can file a motion seeking recusal. It is equally important that a plaintiff follow the proper procedure for pursuing claims of medical negligence, as the failure to do so can also impact the right to recover damages, as demonstrated in a recent opinion in which the plaintiff’s motion seeking recusal was ultimately denied due to the court’s lack of jurisdiction. If you were hurt by incompetent medical care, it is important to consult a seasoned Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Plaintiff’s Harm and Subsequent Filings

Allegedly, the defendants were the plaintiff’s primary care providers who had diagnosed the plaintiff with paranoia, which caused her to be detained and treated against her will. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit seeking damages for medical malpractice, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence. The plaintiff and each of the named defendants were residents of Maryland.

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a motion seeking recusal, arguing the judge was biased due to an adverse ruling in a prior bankruptcy matter. The court ultimately denied the plaintiff’s motion, however, due to the lack of subject matter jurisdiction over the case. The court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint. Continue Reading

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Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women, and early detection is critical to an increased chance of survival. While Maryland does not recognize a loss of chance of a favorable outcome as a viable claim in wrongful death cases, a practitioner can be held liable for proximately causing a patient harm by failing to provide a timely diagnosis. Therefore, if a court erroneously employs the loss of chance theory when analyzing whether a doctor should be deemed liable for malpractice, it can lead to an unjust result. The differences between loss of chance and proximate cause were recently discussed in a Maryland opinion in which an appellate court reversed the trial court’s ruling in favor of the defendant radiologist in a wrongful death case. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to radiology errors, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding your potential claims.

The Alleged Harm and Subsequent Trial

It is reported that the defendant radiologist performed a breast examination on the decedent in November 2011 that did not reveal any abnormalities. The decedent found a lump in her breast six months after that, that the defendant radiologist deemed benign. Fifteen months later, she was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. She underwent treatment for two years but ultimately lost her battle with cancer in 2016.

The plaintiff, the decedent’s husband, filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the defendant’s medical malpractice led to the decedent’s untimely death. A trial was held, and a jury found in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant moved for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict which the court granted, finding that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate the defendant caused the decedent’s death. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

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EMTs and paramedics are often the first people to respond to calls regarding medical emergencies. Although they are not doctors, medical first responders are expected to abide by a certain standard of care and can be held liable when their reckless acts cause physical harm. Proving an EMT should be deemed responsible for injuries can be challenging, however, as illustrated in a recent Maryland ruling in which the court found that the plaintiff did not produce evidence of gross negligence, as required to recover damages. If you were hurt by the careless acts of a first responder, it is prudent to consult a knowledgeable Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to demonstrate liability.

The Defendant’s Pre-Call and Post-Call Behavior

Allegedly, the plaintiffs’ decedent, who was 21-years-old, was at a friend’s house when he began experiencing difficulty breathing. The friend called 911, and the defendant EMTs responded to the call. Tragically, the decedent died due to cardiac arrest following an asthma attack. Plaintiffs, the decedent’s parents, filed a lawsuit against the defendants and their employer. The lawsuit alleged in pertinent part that the defendants’ failure to respond to the call in a prompt manner and to aggressively treat the decedent’s symptoms once they arrived led to the decedent’s death.

It is reported that the defendants moved to have the plaintiffs’ claims dismissed via summary judgment. The court found that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate the defendants were grossly negligent as required under Maryland law and granted the motion. The plaintiffs appealed. Continue Reading

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Not all harm that arises in the context of medical care necessarily constitutes malpractice. And so if a patient who suffers harm during the process of treating with a physician wishes to seek redress via a civil lawsuit, it is prudent that the patient consults with an attorney to ensure the proper claims are pursued. This was demonstrated in an opinion issued by a Maryland court, in which the court ruled that a pro se plaintiff’s purported ordinary negligence claims, in fact, sounded in medical malpractice. If you suffered injuries due to negligent medical care, it is in your best interest to speak to a seasoned Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Plaintiff’s Care and Subsequent Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff, who was in a state facility, was attacked by another resident. He was denied medical care for several hours after the attack, but after he was seen, he was transferred to a trauma center. He was scheduled to see a neurosurgeon who would assess his injuries, but his treatment was further delayed for another month. He was then transferred to the incorrect state facility, where he was denied necessary somatic and psychiatric medications. In sum, he did not receive his prescribed medications for over three months.

Allegedly, the plaintiff suffered permanent spine and neck injuries due to the attack. He subsequently filed numerous claims against multiple parties, including a negligence claim against the defendant health care system that employed the doctors that provided his care while in the facilities. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff asserted medical malpractice, not negligence, claims, and he failed to comply with the administrative requirements for pursuing such claims.

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