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Many people who live in Maryland obtain care from facilities owned or funded by the State of Maryland. A patient that suffers harm due to the careless acts of a practitioner working in a State medical center may be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, but in addition to proving the elements of a negligence claim, the patient must also prove that the provider is not immune under the Maryland Torts Claim Act (MTCA). Recently, a Maryland court discussed the plaintiff’s burden in a medical malpractice claim against a doctor employed by the State, ultimately determining the plaintiff had set forth sufficient evidence to proceed. If you were harmed by a careless doctor at a State-owned facility, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss your rights.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the decedent, who was an inmate with the Maryland Department of Corrections, had a long-standing history of suicidal ideation and had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. During his incarceration, he was evaluated by a psychiatrist and diagnosed with personality, schizoaffective, and psychotic disorders and placed on suicide watch. He was then transferred to another facility where he was examined and treated by the two defendant psychiatrists.

Reportedly, the defendants ultimately determined that the plaintiff would remain stable if he took his medication and directed that he be transferred to a less restrictive housing tier, despite the fact that he was noncompliant, incommunicative, and physically immobile due to his mental health issues. He subsequently died by suicide. The lawsuit was filed against the defendants, alleging they committed medical malpractice. The defendants moved to dismiss the claims. Continue Reading

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In medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff must produce testimony from an expert that both establishes the standard of care and supports the argument that the defendant deviated from the standard. Thus, if a plaintiff’s expert fails to set forth evidence of the applicable standard, the expert may be disqualified, and the plaintiff’s claims may be in danger of being dismissed. This was demonstrated in a recent medical malpractice case filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, in which the court found the plaintiff’s expert failed to establish the standard of care but granted the plaintiff leave to conduct additional discovery. If you live in Maryland and were recently hurt by inadequate medical care, it is in your best interest to retain a  skilled Maryland medical malpractice attorney to help you pursue damages.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff’s foot was scraped by a pebble during a fitness competition. A few days later, he experienced swelling and stiffness in his leg that made it difficult for him to walk. The same day, he called the defendant medical center, which is a facility funded by the federal government, to report an infection in his tooth and pain and swelling in his jaw. He then presented to the defendant medical center with complaints of swelling and pain in his leg.

Allegedly, the attending doctor examined the plaintiff’s tooth and only briefly examined his foot. Approximately two weeks later, he was diagnosed with cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis in his leg, for which he had to undergo surgery. The plaintiff then filed a medical negligence claim against the defendant under the Federal Tort Claims Act, arguing that the defendant’s failure to provide a proper diagnosis caused permanent harm. Following discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s expert failed to establish the standard of care, and his testimony should be precluded, and therefore the plaintiff could not recover on his claims. Continue Reading

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Maryland medical malpractice claims typically hinge on the strength of the plaintiff’s medical expert’s opinion. If a plaintiff’s expert is precluded from testifying, therefore, it is unlikely that the plaintiff will be able to recover any damages. However, only certain parties are permitted to offer expert testimony and proposed experts who do not possess the requisite qualifications may be barred from offering testimony. This was illustrated in a recent Maryland medical malpractice case in which a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff was reversed after the trial court ruled the plaintiff’s expert should have been barred from testifying. If you sustained harm due to an improperly performed medical procedure, you should speak to a dedicated Maryland medical malpractice attorney regarding what evidence you need to recover compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Expert

It is alleged that the plaintiff’s husband died due to complications following a surgical procedure that the defendant performed. She subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant and filed a certificate of a qualified expert. The certificate set forth that the expert would testify that the defendant breached the standard of care, which led to the plaintiff’s husband’s death, and that no more than twenty percent of the expert’s activities each year were related to providing expert testimony, as required under Maryland law.

Reportedly, during discovery, the defendant sought documentation regarding the expert’s activities and income in order to determine whether he was in compliance with Maryland’s twenty percent rule. The expert denied that he kept documentation that specifically monitored his activities but again verified his compliance with the rule. During the trial, the defendant objected to the plaintiff calling her expert due to his failure to prove compliance with the twenty percent rule. The court allowed the expert to testify, but following a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff, reconsidered and issued a judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading

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Federal law generally prohibits the disclosure of a patient’s protected health information without the patient’s consent. In certain instances, however, a patient’s acts may constitute a waiver of the right to object to other parties obtaining the patient’s health information. For example, if a patient files a medical malpractice lawsuit against a medical provider, thereby placing the patient’s health at issue, the courts may allow the provider to obtain information from other parties that treated the patient, even if the patient does not grant permission. This was demonstrated in a recent federal case. If you were hurt by the incompetence of a doctor or nurse, it is advisable to consult a skillful Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assess whether you may have a viable claim for damages.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was admitted to the intensive care burn unit of the defendant hospital with symptoms of a serious skin infection. She ultimately lost vision in both of her eyes due to the defendant’s employee’s failure to provide her with proper care. She then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant.

Allegedly, during the course of discovery, the defendant filed a motion asking the court to allow it to obtain information from numerous providers that treated the plaintiff without engaging in the formal discovery process. In other words, the defendant’s attorney wished to contact them without the use of a subpoena or discovery request. The plaintiff objected, arguing that it would violate her doctor-patient relationships. Continue Reading

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Whether a plaintiff in a Maryland medical malpractice case is awarded damages generally depends on the strength of the testimony provided by the plaintiff’s medical expert. Specifically, the expert must establish not only that the defendant departed from the standard of care but also that the deviation caused the plaintiff’s harm. Thus, if a plaintiff’s expert cannot establish causation, the plaintiff’s claims may fail. Recently, a Maryland court discussed the standards for evaluating whether an expert opinion on causation is reliable enough to be admitted into evidence, in a case where the defendants were accused of medical malpractice for failing to diagnose the plaintiff’s cancer in a prompt manner. If you were harmed by your doctor’s carelessness, it is in your best interest to meet with a trusted Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine your potential claims.

Factual History

It is reported that the defendants began treating the plaintiff in the summer of 2014 when the plaintiff reported blood in his urine. The defendants did not offer the plaintiff any diagnostic or laboratory tests that would screen for cancer. Subsequently, in the fall of 2015, the plaintiff was diagnosed with metastatic cancer in his kidney and bladder. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, alleging their failures led to the spread of his cancer, worsening his prognosis and reducing his life expectancy.

Allegedly, following discovery, the plaintiff submitted the reports of multiple medical experts, including one who offered an opinion that the defendants’ breach of the standard of care led to the plaintiff’s harm. The defendants then moved to preclude the plaintiff from allowing the expert to testify regarding causation at trial, on the basis that the expert’s opinion was unreliable. Continue Reading

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In Maryland, claims alleging medical malpractice must be filed within the time constraints set forth by the pertinent statute of limitations. Otherwise, the injured party may waive the right to recover damages. In cases involving claims against a federally funded facility, in addition to filing a lawsuit within the allotted time, a plaintiff must also file claims with the appropriate federal agency within two years of the alleged harm as well. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as when the patient continues to treat with the defendant health care provider following the date of the wrongful act, as shown in a recent Maryland malpractice case. If you were hurt by negligent medical care you might be owed damages, but you must act promptly. It is wise, therefore, to confer with a seasoned Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment and Procedural History

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent multiple surgeries after he was shot several times in the abdomen. He was then incarcerated. Following his incarceration, he noticed a metal wire protruding from his surgical site. He repeatedly complained about the wire to the defendants but was not granted a surgical consultation. At one point, an examination was scheduled, but it was ultimately canceled. He made several additional requests for a consultation, and approximately two years after his initial request, he underwent a procedure to remove the wires.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants, which he later amended to include both civil rights violations and medical malpractice claims. Then, four years after his initial pleading but two years after his surgery to remove the wires, he filed an administrative claim with the appropriate agency pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), as the defendants were federal employees. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the plaintiff’s claims were time-barred. Continue Reading

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In any Maryland medical malpractice case, it is critical for the plaintiff to retain a knowledgeable expert to explain the standard of care that the defendant was expected to uphold and the manner in which the defendant breached the standard. If a party fails to obtain competent expert testimony, it can gravely impact their case. The standards for admitting expert testimony were recently discussed in a Maryland orthopedic malpractice case in which the court denied the defendant’s motion seeking to exclude the plaintiff’s expert from testifying. The jury issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. If you suffered harm due to the acts of a careless doctor, it is prudent to speak to a trusted Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine what claims you might be able to pursue.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a right hip total arthroplasty, which was performed by the defendant. The procedure involved the installation of a prosthetic femoral head. The defendant believed he installed the prosthetic correctly, but did not conduct any ex-rays during or after the surgery. The plaintiff subsequently developed swelling and bleeding at the surgical site. X-ray studies then revealed that the stem of the prosthetic perforated the plaintiff’s bone and entered the muscles of his thigh.

Allegedly, the plaintiff then underwent a second procedure to correctly place the prosthetic femoral head. He ultimately filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendant. The plaintiff retained an expert, but prior to trial, the defendant filed a motion to preclude the plaintiff’s expert due to the fact that his opinion lacked a sufficient factual basis. The court denied the motion, and following a trial, the jury issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant then appealed. Continue Reading

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It is broadly understood that a party harmed by medical negligence must pursue claims against the health care provider that caused the alleged harm within the applicable statute of limitations. While normally the statute begins to run when the injury occurs, sometimes it will not accrue until the injury is discovered. As discussed in a recent Maryland case, though, in many instances, there can be a dispute over when a party knew or should have known that a doctor’s incompetence caused a patient’s harm. If you were hurt by negligent medical care, it is smart to confer with a skilled Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assess whether you may be able to pursue a claim for damages.

Factual History

It is alleged that in May 2000, the plaintiff underwent a surgery that was performed by the defendant, during which the defendant placed a surgical clip on the plaintiff’s right ureter. In 2014 she began to experience abdominal pain and was admitted to the hospital. She was diagnosed with hydronephrosis in 2006. Then, in 2017, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit asserting claims against the defendant, alleging that he negligently placed the clip, which caused her to develop hydronephrosis and other health issues. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Maryland Deadlines for Filing Medical Malpractice Claims

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that her claims were not untimely because although the clip was placed in 2000, her injury did not occur until 2014. The appellate court explained that the statute of limitations is meant to encourage prompt resolution of claims and avoid extended delays and the loss of evidence. Thus, actions arising from the negligence of health care providers must be pursued within three years of the date when the injury was discovered or within five years of when the injury was committed. Continue Reading

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In Maryland, a party alleging a doctor committed medical malpractice generally must produce proof of the allegedly tortious acts by way of an expert report. In some instances, though, when the act committed by a doctor is so obviously egregious, expert testimony is not required. Recently, a Maryland court addressed the unique issue of whether an expert opinion is needed to establish medical malpractice of a physician that is not named as a party when the defendant doctor alleges that the non-party physician is liable for the plaintiff’s harm. If you were hurt by the negligent acts of your care provider, it is important to understand what evidence you must produce to prove liability. Therefore, you should consult a knowledgeable Maryland medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case as soon as possible.

Factual History

Allegedly, the plaintiff was diagnosed with renal cancer in 2011. While a cancerous tumor was removed from his kidney by the defendant urologist, a nearby lymph node that also was cancerous was not removed. The plaintiff then was treated by the defendant oncologist from 2011 through 2015, who also did not remove the cancerous node but provided chemotherapy, which shrunk the node. The plaintiff’s CT scans were regularly reviewed by the two defendant radiologists throughout the course of his treatment. The defendant radiologists did not report any lymphadenopathy but noted the scans lacked contrast, which made them difficult to evaluate.

It is reported that the plaintiff was ultimately advised that the node was cancerous and could not be removed. He filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, but prior to trial dismissed the claims as to the defendant urologist and oncologist. At trial, the defendant radiologists argued that the defendant urologist and oncologist were ultimately to blame for the plaintiff’s harm, but did not provide any expert testimony supporting their assertions. The jury ultimately determined that the dismissed defendants were liable, after which the plaintiff moved for a new trial. His motion was denied, and he appealed. The court of appeals reversed the trial court ruling, after which the defendants appealed. Continue Reading

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Generally, when people are harmed by incompetent medical care, the cause of their damages is readily apparent. In some instances, though, it may take months or years for the source of a person’s injury to be revealed. As such, the law often allows some leeway in when a plaintiff’s statute of limitations for pursuing a medical malpractice claim begins to run. Recently, a United States District Court discussed the statute of limitations for malpractice claims against a government-owned medical facility. In this instance, the plaintiff alleged it took him years to uncover that a doctor caused his damages. If you were harmed by the careless acts of an incompetent physician, it is prudent to speak to a seasoned Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to avoid waiving the right to recover damages.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

Reportedly, the plaintiff underwent an electric nerve test on his left ankle in January 2014. The test was performed at a medical center run by the Veterans Administration. He stated that the electrical stimulation that was administered during the test was excessive and caused him to be thrown to the floor. Following the test, the plaintiff suffered a swollen ankle, amnesia, anxiety, and fatigue. He continued to suffer ankle and foot pain but did not determine that the improperly administered test was the cause of his injuries until more than three years later.

It is alleged that the plaintiff then filed an administrative notice of his claim with the Veterans Administration. At that point, it was more than a year after the two-year statute of limitations under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) had expired. The defendant ultimately filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that the plaintiff’s claims were untimely. Continue Reading

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