Hospital Malpractice: Releasing the Doctors from the Case

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR BALTIMORE CITY

SHARON MOORE
Plaintiff,

v.

JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL, et al.
Defendants.

CASE NO.: 24-C-10-009077

Joint Stipulation to Release Doctors

Sharon Smith, by her attorneys, and Defendants Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc, Dr. David Hunter, Dr. Beth O'Connor and Judith Jones, by their attorneys, hereby file this Joint Stipulation stipulate as follows:

  1. That all of the Defendants hereby withdraw the “Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss For Improper Venue, or in the Alternative, Motion to Transfer Venue on Grounds of Improper Venue or Forum Non Conveniens and agree that the case at bar shall remain in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City for litigation.
  2. That Defendants Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc, agree and stipulate that all of the remaining individual doctor defendants were their employees for the entire time that the Plaintiff was receiving medical care and treatment at their medical facilities as outlined in the Plaintiff’s Complaint, and were working within the scope of that employment during the time that they rendered medical care and treatment to the Plaintiff.
  3. That the Plaintiff will dismiss her medical malpractice complaint against the individual defendants only with prejudice and the individual defendants will not be latter added as defendants.
  4. Defendants Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc, agree and stipulate that this dismissal with prejudice against the individual defendants shall in no way shape or form be utilized by any Defendant as a bar to the Plaintiff pursuing her claim against Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc.
  5. Defendants Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc, agree and stipulate that the Plaintiff retains the right to pursue her claim against Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc, based upon the legal theory of agency/respondeat superior/vicarious liability, based upon the allegations made against the individual defendants, and the alleged acts and omissions of the individual defendants, notwithstanding the dismissal of her claim against the individual defendants with prejudice.
  6. Defendants Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc, hereby forever waive any defense that is based upon the fact that the Plaintiff has dismissed her claim against the individual defendants herein.
  7. Defendants Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc, will take all steps necessary to make the individual defendants available to be deposed by the Plaintiff and agree that these depositions will take place at the Plaintiff’s attorneys’ law office in Baltimore, Maryland. This will include accepting service of any subpoena that may be issued for the individual defendants to appear for their respective depositions and the individual defendants agree that Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc, has permission to accept service for any subpoena that may be issued in the case at bar that directs them to appear for any deposition and for trial by and through their counsel.
  8. That Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc, stipulate and agree that the Plaintiff can use the depositions of the individual doctors for any purpose permitted under Maryland Law and the Maryland Rules of Civil Procedure as if the individual defendants were still adverse parties to the litigation at bar. This specifically includes reading into evidence at trial the deposition testimony of the individual doctors provided that the testimony is otherwise admissible.
  9. That the individual defendants that are being dismissed from the litigation at bar agree and stipulate that they will appear for any duly noted deposition, and at trial, if so subpoenaed.
Thoughts on Settlement Agreements

One thing is for sure: defense counsel loves to draft settlement releases that provide protection that they do not deserve. Most of it is harmless. Two things to keep a watch out for

  1. Confidentially of settlement: they are not entitled to it unless it was negotiated in advance, and, more importantly
  2. Language that indemnifies the doctor or hospital for unforeseeable claims.
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