To file a medical malpractice claim in Maryland, a plaintiff must follow certain procedural rules and deadlines provided under the law. In a November 27, 2019 opinion, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland addressed the consequences of failing to comply with these rules. The plaintiff in the case had brought a medical malpractice claim against her doctor and the hospital following her cataract surgery, alleging that she suffered a loss of vision in her left eye.
To bring a medical negligence lawsuit under the Health Care Malpractice Claims Act, when the amount sought is more than $30,000, a plaintiff must first file a claim with the Director of the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office. Within 90 days after filing a claim, the plaintiff must file a certificate of a qualified expert along with a report from that expert. The certificate and report must attest to the defendant’s departure from the relevant standard of care, which proximately caused the plaintiff’s injury.
There are exceptions to the requirement that a certificate be filed within 90 days. In general, an extension may be granted if the failure to file the certificate was not willful or a result of gross negligence, or for good cause shown by the plaintiff.