A recent verdict issued in a Maryland medical malpractice case highlights the challenges of recovering compensation for the losses caused by medical negligence in light of Maryland’s current damages caps. The case arose out of a nursing home patient’s tragic death, which was ultimately brought about by negligence. While the damages compensation awarded to the plaintiffs in the case were significant, they will be largely reduced due to Maryland’s cap on non-economic harm in Maryland medical malpractice cases. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a nursing home, it would benefit you to speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer regarding what damages you might be able to recover.
The Plaintiff’s Harm and Subsequent Verdict
It is alleged that A jury in Baltimore County recently awarded over $9 million to the family of a pastor who died in 2020 due to an infected bedsore he developed while staying at a nursing home. The pastor had been living at the nursing home for around six months after suffering a stroke. The family’s lawsuit claimed the nursing home was negligent in allowing the pastor to develop a severe pressure wound on his lower back which became infected. Evidence showed the pastor was left on his back for long periods without repositioning and was not properly cleaned, which may have worsened the bedsore. He ultimately died from sepsis and complications related to the bedsore.
It is reported that at the conclusion of a week long trial, the jury concluded the nursing home was negligent and awarded $8 million in damages for the pastor’s pain and suffering and $1 million for the emotional harm endured by his family. The judgment will be reduced to just around $1 million, though, because of Maryland’s cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims.
Damages Caps in Maryland Medical Malpractice Cases
The case illustrates how noneconomic damages caps alter the outcome of Maryland medical malpractice cases. Specifically, Maryland law limits noneconomic damages, like suffering, mental distress, trauma, and pain, based on the year a claim was filed. While the limits increase each year, they arguably do not reflect what constitutes adequate compensation for the harm caused by medical negligence. The purported goal of the caps is to limit costs and avoid excessive jury awards; they arose out of reforms championed by insurance companies and doctor advocacy groups. No such caps exist on economic damages, though, like medical expenses and lost wages.
Talk to a Skilled Maryland Attorney
Negligent healthcare providers often cause their patients to suffer serious injuries, which sadly are fatal in many cases. If you or someone you love were harmed by the incompetence of a healthcare provider, you might be able to seek compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit, and you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. The skilled Maryland lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are mindful of the devastating impact fatal medical errors can have on families, and if you engage our services, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.