Court Considers Whether Maryland Plaintiff’s Case Against Nursing Home Had to Comply with Medical Malpractice Requirements

When a Maryland nursing home resident is injured due to the alleged negligence of a nursing home employee, the injured resident and their family may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries sustained. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident that caused the injury, the victim may need to file the case as a Maryland medical malpractice case.

Generally speaking, under Maryland’s Health Claims Act, claims based on a “medical injury” filed against a “health care provider” must comply with certain additional requirements to which other Maryland personal injury cases are not subject. Essentially, the question is whether the claim arose from the provision of health care or health care-related services. However, it is not necessarily clear whether a specific claim fits within this class of cases. A recent case illustrates one Maryland court’s attempt at resolving a dispute involving a nursing home resident’s fall.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was a resident at the defendant nursing home. One day, while lying in bed, the plaintiff fell off the bed because the mattress was not secured to the bed frame. The plaintiff remained on the floor for approximately 45 minutes before a nursing home employee arrived to assist her.

When the nurse arrived, she brought a mechanical lift that was designed to elevate the plaintiff back onto her bed. However, as the plaintiff was suspended mid-air, the lift gave out, and the plaintiff again fell to the floor.

The plaintiff brought a three-count negligence claim against the nursing home. The first claim was based on the plaintiff’s initial fall, and the other two claims dealt with the subsequent fall. The nursing home defended against all three claims by asserting that the plaintiff’s case was improperly before the court because, as a medical malpractice case, it failed to comply with the necessary procedural requirements. Specifically, the nursing home claimed that the plaintiff failed to submit the claim to the Alternative Dispute Resolute Office (ADR).

The court considered each of the plaintiff’s claims individually, finding that her first claim was not a medical malpractice claim, but her second and third claims were. The court noted that the plaintiff was asleep on her bed, with no medical personnel around, when the first fall occurred. Thus, the court determined that the nursing home was not in the process of rendering medical care when the fall occurred.

The plaintiff’s subsequent fall, however, occurred while the nurse was attempting to lift the plaintiff back onto her bed after she had fallen. This, the court held, should have properly been considered a medical malpractice claim because it arose out of the provision of medical care. Thus, the court permitted the plaintiff’s first claim to proceed toward trial, but it dismissed the latter two claims because the plaintiff failed to comply with the medical malpractice requirements.

Have You Been Injured Due To Negligent Medical Care?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured due to the inadequate provision of medical care, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit. The dedicated Maryland personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience representing victims and their families in a wide range of cases, including nursing home negligence and medical malpractice cases. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a Maryland accident lawyer.

More Blog Posts:

Court Finds in Tenant’s Favor in Recent Premises Liability Case Against Landlord, Maryland Accident Law Blog, January 15, 2018.

Court Resolves Dog Bite Case in Favor of Plaintiff, Maryland Accident Law Blog, January 2, 2018.

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