A Maryland medical malpractice claim requires an expert witness to testify in support of the plaintiff’s case. Failure to secure an expert medical witness, or provide admissible expert testimony may result in a dismissal of the claim. In a January 10, 2020 medical negligence case, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland reviewed whether the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert witness was excluded improperly by the circuit court. That decision resulted in a dismissal of the plaintiff’s case, prompting her subsequent appeal.
The plaintiff in the case had received medical treatment from the defendant after suffering fractures to her pelvis and arm. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to timely diagnose and treat an oral infection, which led to pain, an inability to eat, and weight loss. To support her medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff presented an expert medical witness to testify.
After the deposition of the plaintiff’s expert witness, the defendant moved to exclude his testimony, arguing that he had failed to define the standard of care during his deposition. The plaintiff sought leave of court to recall her expert and have him clarify his standard of care testimony. The circuit court did not specifically address the plaintiff’s request, but ruled that the testimony would be excluded because he never specifically stated the standard of care. The case was then dismissed, as he was the plaintiff’s sole expert witness.