Now more than ever Maryland Victims of Medical Malpractice Need Creative Lawyers. Here is why.

The deck is stacked against Marylanders who are victims of medical negligence or malpractice. The juries routinely favor doctors, as do the laws. The limits on damages make trial more likely than settlement. Now the state's highest court has rendered a series of decisions culminating in today's Lockshin v. Semsker that stack the deck further.

Lockshin v. Semsker was potentially a bright spot for victims of medical mistakes. Judge Debelius of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County in Rockville, had ruled that under certain circumstances Maryland's non-economic damages was inapplicable to medical malpractice cases.

It did not take Maryland's Court of Appeals long to disabuse the lawyers and doctors of this state, of any notion that the literal reading of the pertinent law was important. The statutory scheme contrived  by doctors, insurance companies, and the legislature as a result of fictional "malpractice crises" had a hole a mile-wide that Judge Debelius pointed out.

The situation was strikingly similar to one that arose in 1993 in the case of United States v. Streidel. That case came to a far different Court of Appeals, as a certified question, from the United States 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. It too presented a hole in the legislature's efforts to immunize doctors from lawsuits in Maryland.

That decision came to a far different result and since it favored the injured and deceased, rather than the doctors and insurance companies, the Maryland legislature passed new laws restricting the rights of victims.

One inevitably must ask at what point  voters will realize that limits on their rights of recovery, that favor doctors, punish the most vulnerable in our society, do not decrease medical costs and reward the insurance companies only.
It also fundamentally undermines the right to trial by jury and serves to insulate incompetent health care providers from any real economic consequences of their actions.

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