The Maryland Court of Special Appeals took an interesting look at the scope of settlement releases in Harvey v. City Homes, Inc last week. The case has some important reminders for Maryland plaintiffs’ attorneys that the case is not over after a settlement or verdict because the language of the release may be critical if the victim has future potential claims. Continue reading
Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) is an obstetrical condition where the baby’s head is too bid in proportion to the size of the pregnant mother’s pelvic bone. CPD presents dangers for both mother and baby during labor and delivery. An overly large head means that the baby will have difficulty passing through the birth canal. This typically means labor and delivery of the baby will be prolonged and stressful.
A baby normally enters the birth canal with its face toward one side or the other of the mother If the head comes into the birth canal or tries to get into the birth canal but cannot because there is a mismatch between the size of the head compared to the size of the birth canal, that is called cephalopelvic disproportion. This is not a safe situation for the baby because it can cause oxygen deprivation. Continue reading
Pregnancy can make mothers more prone to infection and increase the severity of an infection. This is because pregnancy temporarily weakens a mother’s natural immune system.
Failure to properly diagnose and treat certain maternal infections during pregnancy can be very dangerous for the baby and result in serious birth injuries.
Below is a summary of the most common types of maternal infections that can lead to birth injuries.
Our attorneys see a lot of parents calling us believing their child was harmed by chorioamnionitis who are trying to find out if they have a birth injury claim. Chorioamnionitis is a bacterial infection of the fetal membrane and amniotic fluid during pregnancy. A chorioamnionitis infection occurs when vaginal bacteria transfer into the uterus and spread. Chorioamnionitis occurs in approximately 2% of all childbirths in the U.S. It can have a number of adverse effects during pregnancy. A chorioamnionitis infection can block or limit the mother’s ability to pass nutrients to the baby.
If chorioamnionitis is not properly diagnosed and addressed the infection can also spread to the baby resulting in permanent long-term birth injuries such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, cerebral palsy. How does it cause a brain injury? Chorioamnionitis causes an inflammatory response of cytokines that targets specifically the periventricular white matter in the premature infant, causing periventricular leukomalacia or PVL. The periventricular white matter is particularly sensitive to damage. It is also important to remember that chorioamnionitis is known to cause utero placental insufficiency and to compromise the ability of the placenta to oxygenate the fetus. Most birthing process brain injuries involve oxygen deprivation.
Chorioamnionitis can also cause premature labor and delivery which can lead to a host of complications for the mother and child.
Last week in Lamalfa v. Hearn, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that medical records could be admitted over hearsay objections when the records are relied on by an expert witness and the records satisfy 4 conditions of Maryland Rule 5-703(b).
Facts of Lamalfa
The Plaintiff, Ms. Lamalfa, was injured in a car accident and sued the at-fault driver. She claimed that she suffered 3 different injuries as a result of the accident: (1) whiplash injuries to her back and neck; (2) torn rotator-cuff injury to her right shoulder; and (3) abdominal hernia injury.
Most of my blogs posts are directed at Maryland nursing home lawyers and other plaintiffs’ lawyers. This blog post is directed to Maryland victims of nursing home neglect and abuse. They want to know if they can sue, who they can sue, what is going to happen, and what likely outcome of the case might be.
Can I sue a nursing home?
Yes. Nursing homes and other elder care facilities can be sued just like any hospital, doctor or other healhcare provider. In fact, lawsuits against nursing homes are very common and frequently settled out of court. I’ll talk to you more about this below. But for now, if you fear is that you are afraid of going to trial in a nursing home case, that is a statistically very unlikely outcome. I know of two nursing home trials that have gone to trial in last 7 or 8 years and scores of nursing home cases are filed every year. More on that later. But for now, if you stress level in suing a nursing home is going to trial, I think that stress is misplaced.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or health care professional injures a patient with negligent or inappropriate medical care. The consequences of medical malpractice can be very serious. If an accountant or other professional provides negligent services it typically just costs you money. Negligent medical care by doctors, however, can result in permanent physical injuries and sometimes death. In many cases, the harm caused by medical malpractice can never be undone. Instead, our legal system offers victims of medical malpractice financial compensation.
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim in Maryland
Doctors and hospitals are not in the habit of admitting that they committed malpractice. If you want financial compensation for injuries caused by medical malpractice you will need to show that you are legally entitled to it. To have a valid claim for medical malpractice you need to be able to prove 2 things:
This has to be the least shocking development since Kim Kardashian’s last divorce. Listen, unlike a lot of lawyers, I understand when insurance companies fight like crazy in third party claims where the claimant is not their client. But this is a case where the family had been paying premiums for almost 30 years. When an insurance company loses an appellate case on coverage involving their own insured, they should be ashamed of themselves. Sure, you can argue it is a close call. But don’t you want to err in favor of your own client?
Thankfully, the Court of Special Appeals ruled for the victim. The key take-home lesson here is if there is any question about an umbrella or uninsured coverage, turn over every last stone. Because there is a real good chance you are going to find a path to move coverage.
A nice family came in last week with a beautiful little girl who had shoulder dystocia. Did she have a viable birth injury case? She has a significant injury if it is permanent and there is a strong reason to suspect malpractice. The child is so young there is still reason to be hopeful her body will mend itself.
There are a lot of crazy paradoxes with this job, so much so that I’m used to it. But in cases like this, we are hoping it not a case because that would mean the child got better.
Anyway, this gave me the idea to write a blog post explaining these injuries and how to know, if you are a lawyer or a parent, if you may have a viable birth injury case.
Our plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers frequently receive calls from defendants who have been involved in auto accidents who do not understand why they are being sued by an insurance company as a result of an auto accident they had that was not their fault.
Most people involved in an auto accident in Maryland do not realize that if they do not have auto insurance and the accident is their fault, the other party’s insurance company can sue them for the money it paid out in property damage. Many of these callers are surprised when, years later, they receive suit papers for an auto or truck accident in which no one sustained a personal injury, yet they are being sued for thousands of dollars, either for property damage or for medical bills paid by an insurance company. The insurance company is exercising its right to subrogation, which literally means the insurance company is substituting itself for the actual party involved in the auto accident and collecting the money for the damage done to that individual’s property (for which they have already paid pursuant to their insurance contract with that person).
How is his possible? The insurance company is exercising its right to subrogation, which literally means the insurance company is substituting itself for the actual party involved in the auto accident and collecting the money for the damage done to that individual’s property (for which they have already paid pursuant to their insurance contract with that person).