Earlier this year, a Maryland physician had his license suspended when reports surfaced that he had sexually assaulted a female patient. Last month, another report was made that the doctor assaulted another patient in a similar manner. According to a recent article by one local news source, the second patient is seeking damages in excess of $1.5 million and has named both the doctor and his employer, the MedExpress Clinic.
Evidently, the doctor had been convicted of raping a woman at gunpoint in Florida several years ago. However, since he did not disclose the nature of the crime to the licensing board and only disclosed that he had been convicted of “assault” while under the influence, he was still permitted to be licensed as a physician.
The patient, who is suing the doctor and the clinic that employed him, claims that the hospital should have conducted a further background check into the doctor’s past before putting him in a position where he will be alone with female patients.
Currently the doctor’s license has been suspended, and he cannot practice medicine. He is currently in the middle of the case regarding the first set of allegations that he molested a patient.
Medical Malpractice Comes in Many Varieties
Sexual assault is probably not what most people think of when they hear “medical malpractice.” However, this case illustrates that the term medical malpractice is extremely broad, covering any breach of the doctor-patient duty. In this case, the doctor’s alleged sexual assault of his patient clearly would establish the elements of a malpractice case, if the plaintiff was able to convince the jury of the facts.
Naming Multiple Defendants in Malpractice Actions
In most cases it is beneficial for a Maryland medical malpractice plaintiff to name all potentially liable parties form the beginning of the case. This ensures that the named parties cannot shift the blame onto an absent party, leaving the plaintiff with nothing. In the case described above, the plaintiff claimed that the hospital was liable for hiring and keeping a doctor on the staff who had been convicted of a sex offense. If the plaintiff can prove that the hospital was negligent in so doing, the hospital may also be liable to her for the assault.
It is worth noting that if a case fails against one party, that has no bearing on the success against another. In other words, a plaintiff has little to lose by naming all potentially liable parties and letting the jury decide who is truly at fault.
Have You Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice?
If you have recently been injured by what you believe was medical malpractice, you may be entitled to monetary damages to help compensate you for your injuries. To learn more about the malpractice laws in Maryland, and to speak to a dedicated medical malpractice attorney, contact the Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. The skilled and dedicated lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen have the experience you need to feel comfortable bringing your case in any Maryland court of law. Click here, or call 410-654-3600 today to schedule your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Hopkins’ Gynecologist Videotaped Patient Exams, Resulting in $190 Million Class-Action Settlement, Maryland Accident Law Blog, July 23, 2014.
Woman Who Lost Husband and Two Sons When Home Depot Collapsed Sues Under Negligence Theory Maryland Accident Law Blog, August 20, 2014.