In a July 25, 2019 opinion, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland revisited a medical negligence case for the second time on appeal. The plaintiff had filed a Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit against her doctors, alleging that they failed to timely biopsy and diagnose a mass on her right breast. The plaintiff claimed that that as a result of their negligence, she underwent a bilateral mastectomy instead of a less-invasive lumpectomy and suffered painful and permanent injuries.
After a trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff past medical expenses in the amount of $35,000 and $150,000 in non-economic damages. The defendants appealed, arguing the trial court had erred by allowing the plaintiff to testify about her distress regarding her fear of death. In the first appeal, the court agreed, finding that the plaintiff’s chance of survival was at least 88 percent and that the testimony would have an obvious effect on the jury. The judgment was reversed, and the case was remanded for a new trial.
The trial court, however, ordered that the new trial be limited to non-economic damages only. The defendants then filed a motion to preclude the plaintiff’s expert from testifying as to whether the plaintiff needed a mastectomy on her right breast due to the alleged delay in diagnosis, and as to the plaintiff’s left breast mastectomy, since it was not medically necessary. After the motion was granted, the defendants moved for summary judgment based on the plaintiff’s lack of any causation expert, which was also granted. The plaintiff then filed the current appeal.