Proving that a certain act is legally negligent in a Maryland medical malpractice claim hinges on the testimony of an expert witness. This is because many medical decisions are difficult for nonmedical professionals to evaluate, and expert testimony helps the jurors understand the potentially complex issues involved in a case. In fact, lawmakers have determined that expert testimony is required to successfully bring a medical malpractice claim.
Under the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Act, a plaintiff has to file a Certificate of Qualified Expert within 90 days of the filling of the claim. A plaintiff has to prove that a health care professional failed to meet the standards of practice among members of the same health care profession with similar training and experience. The Certificate of Qualified Expert is an attestation from a qualified health care provider . . . that the care provided was “not in accordance with the standards of practice among members of the same health care profession with similar training and experience situated in the same or similar communities” at the time of the acts in question. A court can review a certificate and determine whether it meets the requirements under the statute.
The expert health care provider must have had qualified experience in the defendant’s specialty, related health care field, or in the field that the defendant provided care or treatment within 5 years of the acts in question. Maryland also has a law that an expert may not devote more than 20 percent of the expert’s professional time to activities that involve providing testimony in personal injury claims. The following example shows the importance of understanding the standards required of health care providers to weigh a provider’s choices.
Thee Infant Deaths Caused by Contaminated Donor Milk Equipment
A Pennsylvania hospital recently announced that the bacterial infections of eight babies in its neonatal intensive care unit were caused by the process the hospital used to prepare donor breast milk. According to a recent news report, three babies died as a result of the infections. The hospital reported that the bacteria was caused by equipment that was used to measure donor breast milk. The bacteria only pose a danger to at-risk patients, such as premature babies, who have a compromised immune system.
The hospital reported that the milk itself was safe and was not the cause. The hospital implemented a new procedure after the discovery and said it did not have any new cases after making the change. The hospital stated that it extended its “sincere apologies” to the families that were affected. At least one family whose child died is suing the hospital. One family’s lawyer said that the family was told that the hospital did not know why the baby died. It was only later that they were told that the baby died because of a bacterial infection.
Contact a Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of the negligent acts of a health care provider, call a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. The medical malpractice lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers understand the compassion that you and your family need and deserve while recovering from a devastating medical error. Our medical malpractice attorneys have almost two decades of experience representing medical malpractice victims throughout the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. area. Our attorneys will fight vigorously for you and your family. For a free consultation, call us at 800-654-1949 or contact us online.