On September 23, 2016, a Maryland medical malpractice jury in a conservative Maryland county returned its verdict in the amount of $1.1 million in favor of the plaintiff, who had his CT scan misread by the defendant radiologist, which led to unnecessary surgery that has left the man with severe chronic pain. The Maryland medical malpractice trial lasted eight days and the jury deliberated for eight hours before returning its verdict.
Ten physicians testified during the Maryland medical malpractice trial, including the two defendants, six medical experts, and two treating physicians.
The Maryland medical malpractice jury awarded the plaintiff $75,000 for his past medical expenses, $192,000 for his past lost wages, and $750,000 for his pain and suffering. The Maryland medical malpractice jury did not award any amount for the plaintiff’s claim for future lost wages. The jury’s award of $750,000 for the man’s noneconomic damages will be reduced to $680,000, which was the amount of the cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases in Maryland in effect at the time of the medical negligence.
The Underlying Alleged Facts
The plaintiff had fallen in a barn on his property in August 2010 and suffered injuries. He was treated by his primary care physician for complaints of persistent pain, for which his doctor referred him for a CT scan. The defendant radiologist read the man’s CT scan and diagnosed him with a diaphragmatic hernia and recommended surgery.
The defendant surgeon allegedly advised the plaintiff that he needed surgery to fix his problem and to resolve his pain. The defendant surgeon performed a thoracotomy, instead of laparoscopic surgery, during which he found no hernia. A subsequent review of the prior CT scan found no evidence of a hernia. Nonetheless, the man suffered complications from the surgery that included a herniation of lung tissue through his rib cage, which required a second thoracotomy five years later.
The man has a permanent foot-long surgical scar on his back and side as a result of the surgery. He also has chronic pain (post-thoracotomy pain syndrome). As a result of the surgery and the complications, the man was unable to return to his work as an auto mechanic despite his attempt to return to work.
The Maryland medical malpractice jury found that the defendant radiologist, who was a physician assistant, breached the standard of care and that the breach caused the man’s injuries. The Maryland medical malpractice jury determined, however, that the defendant surgeon was not medically negligent.
The plaintiff had filed his Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit on March 31, 2014.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury (or death) as a result of medical malpractice in Maryland or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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