Articles Posted in Maryland Malpractice Cases

A Massachusetts appellate court ordered a new trial after the trial court had granted a doctor’s motion for a directed verdict in a medical malpractice case.

Classic malpractice case. Patient goes to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist who diagnoses a voice disturbance and reflux esophagitis. Patient gets speech therapy. Critical time passes. He gets a second opinion and finds out he has cancer, metastatic non-small-cell lung carcinoma. Tragically, he dies.

The trial judge found that Plaintiff’s medical expert witness, a radiation oncologist, had failed to provide testimony specifically staging Plaintiff’s loss of chance claim submitted to the jury. As I have written in the past, Massachusetts has a more liberal lost chance loss than Maryland does.

The Maryland high court provides a good look at just how complicated the implications of joint tortfeasor releases can be in Hashmi v. Bennett, a medical malpractice case filed against Good Samaritan Hospital of Maryland and a number of other medical providers.

Plaintiffs’ filed a medical malpractice survival action/wrongful death lawsuit claiming defendants failed to diagnose and treat plaintiffs’ father, a 27-year-old man, who showed signs and symptoms of progressive septic methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, and was treated instead with Ambien to help him sleep.

Good Samaritan Hospital settled the case for $550,000 and the claim against the emergency room practice, and the ER doctor settled for $400,000. The case against the doctor at the hospital who treated the patient was taken to verdict and a Baltimore City jury awarded Plaintiffs $2,295,000, which was reduced by the Maryland medical malpractice cap to $1,795,000.

The Washington Supreme Court unanimously (9-0) threw out a 2006 law that requires an injured patient to get a certificate of merit from an expert before suing for medical malpractice, finding that RCW 7.70.150, usurped the judicial branch’s power to determine the procedures by which courts adjudicate medical malpractice lawsuits. In other words, requiring a certificate of merit in medical malpractice cases in Washington violates the separation of state powers in Washington’s constitution.

I’m not necessarily against the idea of certificates of merit in medical malpractice cases – which have been required for years as a condition precedent to filing medical malpractice lawsuits in Maryland – even though I’m a little queasy about the idea of treating doctors in civil lawsuit differently that the rest of us. (The justification? We have been doing it that way for a while. Which is really no justification at all when you think about it. But let’s move on.) But if you read the opinion, it is hard to argue that a certificate of merit is anything other than a procedural rule.

Washington state constitution, similar to Ohio’s – is clear that procedural rules are for the judiciary.

Four jurors who helped decide one of Tennessee’s largest medical malpractice lawsuits are claiming they felt coerced into finding the gastroenterologist at fault for Plaintiff’s injuries.

This sad case involved a relatively simple procedure – a colonoscopy and endoscopy – on a 33-year-old woman. A day later, complications from the procedures sent her into cardiac arrest leading to brain damage.

In April, a Hamilton County Circuit Court jury found the doctor 51% responsible for the plaintiff’s brain injuries. The jury awarded $6.12 million in damages.

The Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog has a post with a link to a Miami Herald article on a 12-year-old boy who died of serotonin syndrome. The mother of the boy filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit last week in Miami-Dade circuit court, claiming the child’s psychiatrist, and the now-closed group home where this autistic boy lived, failed to properly monitor his condition.

Serotonin syndrome is a rare but not idiosyncratic response to what is a good thing in the appropriate dosage: serotonin. This child was taking Seroquel, Zyprexa, Depakote, and Clonazepam.

While it is easy to question whether some of these drugs should have been prescribed for this boy, the medical malpractice question is whether his death was from serotonin syndrome and whether this combination of drugs was such that a reasonably prudent psychiatrist (and the group home) should have not prescribed this level of medication or should have more carefully monitored the child. Specifically, on this point, the malpractice lawsuit alleges that the doctor had not seen the child in a year before the day he died and that the boy exhibited symptoms that he was reacting poorly to the medication.

The Maryland Injury Lawyer Blog wrote a post on Friday that analyzes a new 34 page Maryland Court of Special Appeals opinion fee dispute between a referring lawyer and the Maryland malpractice lawyer to whom he referred a failure to diagnose cancer case. The case sheds interesting light on the referral arrangement between a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer and the referring lawyer. One thing that is not common about this relationship: the referring lawyer referred the case after a medical malpractice lawsuit had already been filed.

A recent Jury Verdict Research study looking at cancer injuries involving negligence found that the average compensatory award is $4,147,526 (median is $2,052,500). Most of these cancer cases involve medical malpractice lawsuits for the failure to diagnose cancer.

One medical malpractice study found that 12% of the time, cancer is misdiagnosed because a doctor or other health care provder either missed the signs and symptoms of cancer and did not order further testing or because the cancer test was improperly executed, read, or an error was made with at the lab or with the radiologist. With breast cancer patients, mammograms have a false-negative – malignant cancer that goes undetected- rate of approximately 10%.

  • 2020, Indiana: $238,914 Settlement. A woman died of advanced jaw cancer that spread to her liver. This eventually led to a settlement. However, the estate also petitioned the Indiana Department of Insurance Commissioner for excess damages. They contended that the commissioner owed further compensation that totaled $238,914. This case eventually settled for that exact amount.

A Sand Diego jury has awarded $3.7 million to a man who sued a doctor for failing to diagnose the iron-overload disease hemochromatosis.

Plaintiff went to his workers’ compensation doctor who found increased ferritin in his blood, an indication of hemochromatosis. No diagnosis was made. Three years later, they were diagnosed with hemochromatosis. Alleging tissue and organ damage, arthritis, and memory loss, Valentine said that Kramer failed to diagnose and treat his hemochromatosis, failed to refer him to a specialist, and failed to discuss the lab results with him. The workers’ compensation doctor alleged that he showed the Plaintiff the lab results and told him to see a primary care doctor.