In Maryland, expert testimony is generally required to establish a medical malpractice claim. In a May 26, 2021 opinion, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland considered whether evidence of negligence, which included opinions of two medical experts, was sufficient to survive a summary judgment motion in a medical malpractice case.
The plaintiff in the case was receiving prenatal care from the defendants during her pregnancy. At 38 weeks, she reported decreased fetal movement at a routine prenatal visit. She was referred to the hospital for further evaluation, where she received care from a delivery nurse and physician. Ultimately, the physician diagnosed her with gestational hypertension and discharged her the same day. Four days later, the plaintiff was admitted to the hospital with high blood pressure and had an emergency Caesarean section. Her son was born with multiple health conditions, including a brain disorder.
The plaintiffs filed medical malpractice claims, alleging negligence against the doctor for failing to deliver her son four days earlier, against the nurse for failing to initiate the hospital’s chain of command policy, and against the hospital. After the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the nurse and hospital, the plaintiffs sought review of the decision on appeal.