Abortion Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Maryland

Anonymous v. Potomac Family Planning Center

(Filed January 21, 2016)

  • Montgomery County
  • Potomac Family Planning Center, Inc.
  • A Rockville OB/GYN who performs abortions
Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

This is a negligently performed abortion case. A Frederick County woman is in her first trimester of pregnancy. She goes to Defendant Potomac Family Planning Center in Rockville for a surgical abortion. The woman returns to Potomac Family Center approximately two weeks after her surgery to confirm that she is no longer pregnant. A urine sample indicates that she is no longer pregnant. However, the woman is not given a blood test or ultrasound.

In the weeks following this appointment, the woman begins experiencing symptoms of pregnancy. She has nausea, exhaustion, urinates frequently, etc. She makes an appointment with her primary gynecologist regarding her symptoms. The gynecologist performs a blood test and an ultrasound. Both confirm that the woman is still pregnant. She is now in her second trimester. By the start of a pregnant woman's second trimester, all of the fetus' organs have been developed.

The woman contacts Potomac Family Center. It states that it is "impossible" for the woman to be pregnant and asks for documentation from the gynecologist. After reviewing the blood tests, Potomac Family Center asks that she return to the clinic.

The woman filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Potomac Family Center in Montgomery County. She alleges that Potomac Family Center violated the standard of care by negligently performing her surgical abortion. As a result, she has been forced to (1) suffer a delay in her abortion, (2) undergo a second trimester abortion, (3) incur unnecessary and/or increased medical expenses, and (4) suffer mental and emotional sorrow and anguish.

  • Surgical Abortion Negligence Negligently performed surgical abortion
Specific Counts Pled
  1. Negligence/Medical Malpractice
  2. Respondeat Superior/Agency
Additional Comments
  • This case was filed by a Baltimore law firm that typically does insurance defense work in car accident cases.
  • The claim was filed without an expert report so we do not have the specific details about the Plaintiff's allegations. The case was filed just days before the statute of limitations was set to expire.
  • The trouble with this case is damages. She has additional medical expenses from having to get a second abortion. Her greatest injury is presumably her emotional injury of aborting a child later than she wanted and having to endure a second procedure. But, frankly, it is going to be hard to find a jury of 6 in Montgomery County that is going to unanimously accept the idea that there is great pain and suffering because the fetus is more advanced in an elective abortion. This is an example of a far more extreme case in terms of damages where the jury awarded $125,000.
  • If the jury hates the doctor, you have a much better chance of getting a decent award. Jurors make be unsympathetic to the woman getting an abortion and the doctor performing it. Here is a case where the jury's anger was disproportionately weighted to the doctor.
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