Medical Malpractice Settlements and Verdicts in Maryland
Below we have listed settlements and plaintiffs' verdicts in Maryland medical malpractice cases. We have provided only the winners; the reality is that most medical malpractice cases tried to verdict are won by the doctors or other health care providers. (This cannot be said, thankfully, for malpractice cases that Miller & Zois takes to trial.)
Before these statistics leave you discouraged, there is one fact you need to keep in mind. The best malpractice cases usually reach a settlement before the jury reaches a verdict.
Why don't we list all of our malpractice settlements here which, in recent years, has brought our clients' ten times more money than our verdicts? Because the defendants make you sign these draconian releases that require strict confidentiality. This is particularly true with us because every malpractice lawyer knows we post med mal settlements and verdicts. Do our lawyers hate this? We do. But we have little choice. Our clients do not want us to fight for confidentiality. They want their settlement money.
You can't use these cases as the sole basis to determine the value of your claim. Even if your facts line up exactly with one of these cases, there are just too many other factors at issue to compare your case to another without more information. That said, this is one weapon in your arsenal to determine the range of values for your case.2018 Verdicts
Our client was a pastor from Baltimore City. He was admitted to the University of Maryland Medical Center in 2013 because of multiple medical issues. While admitted to the hospital, he suffered an elevated level of potassium in his blood. Elevated potassium must be treated very quickly before it interferes with a patient’s heart rate. The doctor caring for our client was a critical care specialist. Once he realized our client was suffering elevated potassium, he ordered a drug called Kayexalate to treat his condition. Kayexalate is a cation exchange resin that binds potassium. A severe side effect of Kayexalate, especially in patients with multiple medical problems such as our client, is intestinal necrosis (bowel death). Within hours of receiving Kayexalate, Mr. Allen suffered bowel death that quickly caused his death. According to the Defendant doctor, he was unaware of these serious side effects even though the FDA required numerous labeling changes in 2009 and 2011 to warn about these fatal consequences. Moreover, the University of Maryland itself had policies that warned of bowel death with Kayexalate. Experts for the Plaintiff argued that there was no reason to order kayexalate when there was a safer alternative available, dialysis. Dialysis was readily available in the hospital, more effective than Kayexalate at treating elevated potassium, and it did not carry with it the risk of bowel death. If the doctor had simply ordered dialysis, our client would not have died. Miller and Zois tried the case. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of our client’s estate and the wrongful death beneficiaries of our client’s family. After deliberations, the jury returned a verdict for 10 million dollars against the Defendant doctor and the University of Maryland Medical Center.
- $1.5 Million. Our client has diagnostic testing that showed a risk of cancer. Her physician shows her a test result that has the words "tumor" and "mass" on it. She is told to "drop her calendar" and get an immediate ERCP. She gets pancreatitis from the ERCP. The insurance company went to mediation but refused to make any settlement offer to resolve the claim without a trial which suited out client just fine. The jury awarded $1.5 million in damages. Miller & Zois handled this woman's claim.
- $5.2 Million. Our client, a wonderful, hardworking 49-year-old man, presents to the emergency room after his leg is severely injured. The knee is X-rayed and he is discharged after being diagnosed with a sprain. He returns to the ER two days later. A missed injury to the popliteal artery is discovered and, sadly he requires an above the knee amputation. Plaintiff bravely gets on with his life. He goes back to work and refused to park in handicapped spots he is certainly entitled to take. He files suit against alleging a breach in the standard of care for failing to rule out the popliteal artery injury. Defendants deny the Plaintiff’s allegations and allege the injury to his popliteal artery occurred after he was discharged. The jury disagreed and awarded the Plaintiff $5.2 million dollars. Miller & Zois handled this claim.
- $2.1 Million. A woman presents to Carroll Hospital Center in Westminster to repair a paraesophageal hernia. The hernia occurred through the hole in the diaphragm that the esophagus run through. Within weeks, a second surgery had to performed as the hernia recurred. During this surgery, a surgical synthetic mesh was used to close the hole. She returned to the hospital within a week and was diagnosed with an esophageal leak. She undergoes more than nine additional corrective surgeries, leaving her with a permanent hernia and unable to eat normally at one point. She files suit alleging the surgeon was negligent in the use of the mesh to repair the hole around her esophagus and further claims that the wrong type of mesh was used and used in the wrong way. Defendants claim all protocols and procedures were within the accepted stands of medical practice. A Baltimore City jury disagrees and awards the woman and her husband $2.1 million.
- $5.5 Million Verdict. Our client's 53-year-old mother undergoes open-heart surgery. She has pacing wires placed in her chest to help regulate her heart rate after surgery. When the wires are removed, she tragically bleeds to death internally. Her daughter files suit for the doctor’s failure to properly place pacing wires causing her mother’s death. A Prince George’s County jury awards $5.5 million dollars. Miller & Zois handled this claim.
- $15.6 Million Birth Injury Malpractice in Prince George's County. An 11-year-old girl born at Prince George's Hospital Center is born with brain damage. Plaintiff's lawsuit alleged that a nurse midwife did not properly monitor a fetal monitor before delivery that would have made obvious that the baby was choking and not getting oxygen.
- $1.4 Million Surgical Malpractice Verdict in Baltimore. Pregnant woman goes for an ultrasound. Ultrasound shows an ovarian mass on her left side. The surgeon removes the right ovary. Even worse, the doctor does not tell the patient. Woman continues to experience pelvic pain and after and ER visit, the doctors figure it out. (Why the insurance company let this case go to trial is a mystery.)
- $1,341,000 Emergency Room Malpractice Verdict in Frederick. 77-year-old woman falls in her daughter’s driveway and sustains an injury to her back. She is taken to the ER and is “fast tracked” for minor injuries. She is diagnosed with a bruise and discharged with painkillers. With continued complaints of severe back pain, she presents to the on-call physician at her doctor’s office. She is sent for a CT Angiogram of the chest which allegedly showed a fracture of the lower T10 vertebrae and possible fracture of T9 with associated hematoma and misalignment. A dispute between the parties existed as to when the radiologist communicated the results to the doctor. The woman remains in the hospital for another two days but was not immobilized. Three days after the fall, she loses feeling in her legs and an MRI shows that her condition had worsened. She is transferred and undergoes immediate spinal fusion surgery. She is then transferred back and forth between hospitals and rehab facilities when she eventually passes away four months later from a staph infection in her spine, never regaining feeling in her lower body. Her daughter files a malpractice action against the doctor and radiologist, in addition to a few other entities. With a few entities being dismissed along the way, a jury finds the on-call doctor violated the standard of care and awards $1,341,000 for medical expenses, funeral expenses, and for pain and suffering. The award was lowered to $719,000 in accordance with Maryland statutory limitations on non-economic damages. The remaining Defendants that made it to trial were found not to have violated the standard of care.
- $9,500,000. A two-week old infant is brought into the emergency room after her parents notice she is short of breath. Blood tests are conducted, and she is discharged home with instructions to follow up with the pediatrician. More than twenty-four hours pass before the parents are informed that the infant’s test results indicate Group B streptococcus. Unfortunately, the baby develops meningitis and suffers irreparable brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy. Plaintiff’s file suit alleging that the defendants failed to timely inform them of the infant’s test results resulting in a delay in treatment. Liability is denied, and defendants claim their care was reasonable and appropriate. Plaintiffs are awarded $9,500,000 which was subsequently reduced to $7,150,000 by Maryland’s non-economic damages. (Get more hospital infection verdicts.)
- $1,420,000. Plaintiff, pregnant at the time, presented to Defendant Doctor to have an ultrasound. The ultrasound revealed that Plaintiff had an ovarian mass on the left side. Defendant Doctor recommended removal of the mass. Plaintiff was admitted to the hospital to have the mass removed. Defendant Doctor, however, incorrectly removed Plaintiff’s healthy ovary and fallopian tube on the right side. Plaintiff filed suit in Baltimore City and was ultimately awarded $1,420,000 by a Baltimore City jury.
- $761,000 Surgical Malpractice Verdict in Baltimore County. Plaintiff has a C-section at GBMC in Towson on July 14, 2006. Four days later, a CT scan shows a bowel obstruction. Plaintiff's bowel perforates six days later, and she needs emergency surgery, not to mention the trauma of enduring all of this while trying to care for your newborn daughter. Plaintiff's suit alleges that the doctors failed to timely treat the obstruction. Plaintiff has $52,097 in past medical expenses and $9,684 in lost wages. The jury awarded $761,782, which was reduced to $711,782 under the cap on non-economic damages of $650,000 that was in place in 2006 when the accident occurred.
- $20,881,082.17 Brachial Plexus Palsy Birth Injury Verdict in Prince George's County: Plaintiff goes to Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park to give birth to her child. The baby's left shoulder became stuck behind mom's pubic bone. Plaintiff says the doctor "pulled down forcefully" on the baby's head during the delivery. The boy suffered permanent left brachial plexus injuries. After a five-day trial, the jury awarded $881,082.17 in past and future medical bills and lost future earning capacity and a whopping $20 million in non-economic damage award for pain and suffering. The verdict was reduced by the cap on non-economic damages to $1,531,000. Medical Mutual was the doctor's insurance company.
- $55,000,000 Cerebral Palsy Verdict in Baltimore City: Woman gives birth with a midwife. Baby gets stuck. They race to Johns Hopkins. The doctors waited two hours before performing a C-section. Plaintiff's expert testified that the C-section should have been done within 30-40 minutes and that the difference in the two times led to a deprivation of oxygen that left the child with severe cerebral palsy, requiring round-the-clock care. This verdict has since been overturned.
- $21,000,000 Verdict. A Glen Burnie couple alleged their son's doctors at Johns Hopkins should have performed a Caesarean section instead of a prolonged vaginal birth that lead to oxygen deprivation and cerebral palsy.
- Get 2011 Maryland medical mistake claim verdicts and settlements here.
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