A recent Maryland medical malpractice verdict underscores the complexities of medical malpractice litigation and the role of damages caps in shaping the outcome of such cases. The case arose out of a devastating birth injury caused by negligence. While the damages awarded in the case are substantial, they largely represent the cost of the care the affected child will need throughout the duration of his life. If your child suffered an injury at birth due to the recklessness of a doctor, it is crucial to speak to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about what damages you may be able to recover.
The Subject Case
It is alleged that the plaintiffs filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospital after their son suffered brain damage and permanent injuries following a premature emergency cesarean section. The hospital defended its actions, claiming that the procedure was necessary to save the lives of both the mother and the baby. The trial lasted for two weeks, and the jury deliberated for four hours before reaching a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs.
It is reported that the jury awarded the plaintiffs damages amounting to approximately $34 million. Due to Maryland’s statutory cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases, the amount will be reduced to $25.2 million. The bulk of the damages awarded to the plaintiffs was for the child’s future medical expenses, which amount to $20 million. In addition, they received compensation for the child’s loss of earnings as well as his past medical expenses. The plaintiffs were awarded $10 million for pain and suffering as well, but this amount will likely be reduced to around $1 million due to the state’s damages cap.
Damages Caps in Maryland Medical Malpractice Cases
The case highlights how noneconomic damages caps function and the significance of expert witnesses in determining damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. Maryland law restricts noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, based on the year of the claim’s origin, and the limits increase annually. The alleged purpose of these caps is to control costs and prevent excessive jury awards; they arose out of reforms supported by doctor advocacy groups and insurance companies.
In contrast, there are no caps on economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost earnings potential. Expert witnesses specializing in life planning and long-term care play a crucial role in itemizing and quantifying future costs associated with permanent disabilities and injuries.
Meet with a Seasoned Maryland Attorney
Preventable birth injuries can cause lifelong physical, emotional, and financial losses. If your child was injured at birth by an incompetent doctor, you may be able to pursue claims for damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, and you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The seasoned Maryland lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are mindful of the devastation birth injuries can cause, and if you hire us, we will fight to help you seek a just outcome. You can reach us through our form online or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.