The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS)), which includes 11 hospitals and facilities. It started in 1823 as the Baltimore Infirmary and is located in downtown Baltimore City.
The hospital has 800 beds, 37,000 inpatient admissions, and 300,000 outpatient visits every year. The hospital features the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, which treats 7,500 patients per year. The hospital provides patients with emergency care, cancer, pediatrics, labor and delivery, cardiology, diabetes, robotic surgery, and several other specialties. It aligns itself with the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine.
Giving credit where credit is due, this is a great hospital, and we are lucky to have it here in Baltimore. But, like any large hospital, there is also a lot of medical malpractice that leads to severe injury and death.
Residents often play a big role a UMMS and this is often a source of malpractice lawsuits. There is sometimes too much responsibility placed on residents who do not have the experience to make the best choices.
Where To File University of Maryland Medical Center Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
The University of Maryland Medical Center is in downtown Baltimore City, which is a preferred location for plaintiffs to file medical malpractice lawsuits. Baltimore City Circuit Court typically has a good pool of jurors. Baltimore City has been home to a $55 million verdict and a $21 million verdict. These juries are not rolling over for plaintiffs but they are not surprised to see a good hospital make mistakes.
University of Maryland Medical Center’s Defense Team
The University of Maryland Medical Center has been defended in recent years by numerous defense firms, including Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, Goodell DeVries, Morgan Carlo Downs & Everton, Whitford Taylor Preston; Chason, Rosner, Leary & Marshall, Waranch & Brown, Miles & Stockbridge, (Mike Brown handles a lot of this hospital’s significant cases in Baltimore), and Pessin Katz.
Ron Shaw with Shaw & Morrow was the defense lawyer in our $10 million verdict against UMMS. It’s anybody’s guess which of these law firms will defend them in a particular claim. They do not seem wedded to anyone in particular. Neal Brown with Waranch & Brown was the defense lawyer in a $5.8 million verdict against UMMS in January 2020 in a wrongful death case in Baltimore City.
UMMS will settle malpractice cases before suit is filed if they believe they are clearly responsible for harm that was caused. These are rare. If the case is defensible, you can expect UMMS, like most hospitals, to force you to put the case in suit and litigate the claim. This does not mean the case will go to trial. UMMS settles most of the good claims against it. Eventually.
We would like to talk about our cases and experience with UMMS in this space. But this hospital requires confidentiality in settlement agreements.
Ordering Medical Records from the University of Maryland Medical Center
The first step to investigating a medical malpractice lawsuit is to order the medical records. Some of our clients take this first step themselves. Others let us do the legwork for them (and pay for them). If you want to order your records, send a request to:
UMMS Department of Health Info Management
22 South Greene Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Phone: (410) 328-5706
Fax: (410) 328-2358
Does the Hospital Have Immunities as a State Actor?
The Maryland Tort Claims Act caps most civil lawsuits against the State at $200,000 and has a one-year notice provision among other unreasonable restrictions. Does UMMS get these immunities? The answer is no. UMMS has not been a state entity for many years. But the hospital has argued in the past that some contractual relationships it has with the State gives the facility immunity in some cases. So it is important to keep an eye on that issue if you are suing this hospital.
Lawsuits Against UMMS
Our law firm, Miller & Zois, has won a $10 million verdict against UMMS. Below are other lawsuits filed against UMMS.
- 2019: Young v. UMMS: doctors fail to monitor patient which results in a permanent hypoxic injury
- 2019: Bosnick v. UMMS: doctor misdiagnosis of a necrotizing soft tissue infection which results in patient’s death
- 2019: Ray v. UMMS: nurse negligence by allowing patient with hip surgery to move independently from her bed to a chair
- 2019: Ringgold v. UMMS: failure to diagnose and treat liver failure after surgery
- 2019: Leahy v. UMMC: failure to diagnose leads to patient needing lung transplant
- 2019: Leimbach v. UMMC: surgical malpractice leading to patient needing additional surgery to undo damage caused by first operation
- 2017: Czajkowski v. UMMC (Midtown): hospital fall case leading to catastrophic injuries to a young woman.
- 2017: Grimes v. UMMC – failure to monitor mother and baby cerebral palsy birth injury claim
- 2017: Belka v. UMMC – failure to diagnose heart attack case
- 2016: Nelson-Lewis v. UMMC – surgical error case involving a hernia operation that was performed laparoscopically
- 2016: Chaplin v. UMMC – surgical malpractice case involving a kidney transplant
- 2016: Martin v. UMMC – breach of medical standard by failing to treat patient after diagnosis causing infection
- 2016: Pilarski v. UMMC – breach of standard of care by failing to timely stop medication and develop new plan
- 2016: Haigler v. UMMC – failure to provide proper care & treatment during delivery
- 2016: Fowlkes v. UMMC – failure to timely diagnose infection, resulting in death
- 2016: Craddock v. UMMC – violate standard of care by discharge patient from hospital with MRSA infection
- 2015: Woodson v. UMMC – failure to properly evaluate patient’s respiratory condition, resulting in death
- 2015: Mumma v. UMMC – failure to properly treat minor’s condition, causing brain injury & cerebral palsy
- 2015: Duncan v. UMMC – failure to timely render obstetrical care to patient and fetus
- 2015: Rouselle v. UMMC – negligent care, resulting in death
- 2015: Bell v. UMMC – negligence causing patient to contract severe sepsis and die
- 2015: Porter v. UMMC – failure to properly drain patient’s knee after surgery resulting in sepsis poisoning
- 2015: Bobrov v. UMMC – negligent puncturing of esophagus during endoscopy leading to eventual death
- 2015: Smith v. UMMC – failure to use appropriate tests after treating patient’s broken arm
UMMS Malpractice Settlements & Verdicts
Below are verdicts and publicly reported settlements in medical malpractice cases against UMMS. The reason there are so few of these is because most malpractice cases against UMMS result in confidential settlements that are not publicly reported and very few of these cases ever make it to trial.
2020, Prince George’s County $6.1 Million Verdict: The plaintiff was rushed to Prince George’s Hospital Center (which was acquired by UMMS in 2017) suffering from vascular, bone and muscle injuries sustained in a rollover vehicle crash. However, he was not seen by the on-call orthopedic trauma surgeon, for more than four hours. The doctor failure to properly treat the plaintiff’s compound fracture, a failure not noticed until three days later when another doctor performed a pressure-relieving and circulation-restoring procedure in hopes of saving the leg but found too much deterioration had occurred, the lawsuit stated. A jury in P.G. County awarded $6.1 million in damages. UMMS appealed the verdict, but it was upheld.
2017, Baltimore County $18.6 Million Verdict: A man presented at Franklin Square Hospital with abdominal discomfort. There, he was diagnosed with pancreatitis and was put on a two-day course of anti-clotting medication. During his stay, a doctor discontinued his medication. He told no one. The medication was later restarted, but by that time a clot had already developed in his leg. During a walk in the hospital, the man suffered a heart attack, causing the clot to travel to his lungs and eventually to his brain. Doctors arrived more than 20 minutes later, by which time the clot had reached his brain. After a two-month hospital stay and 18 months in rehabilitation, the 31-year-old father of two is now living in a residential group home, an hour and a half away from his parents in Harford County. He has been left with significant physical and cognitive impairments and is largely wheelchair-bound, able to walk only 20 to 30 feet with assistance. A jury in Baltimore County deliberated for over five hours and awarded him $18.6 million payout, later reduced to $16.3 million in accordance with the state’s cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice suits.