A West Virginia man sued a Frederick, Maryland doctor, alleging that he stapled his rectum shut during an operation leaving the 64-year-old man with permanent bowel problems. The Plaintiff now experiences rectal discharge and needs to wipe himself between 12 and 15 times a day. This is a damages case with a real appeal for a jury because obviously, this is a life-altering injury.
The doctor’s medical malpractice lawyer’s argument: his bowels were swollen shut because he was a smoker. No, really, that was the argument.
Okay, this is a case that should just settle, right? Well, the doctor makes no offer, and the jury validates their offer with a defense verdict.
Plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawyer Julia A. Lodowski told the Maryland Daily Record that she was shocked at the verdict.
Granted, we did not sit on the jury so we do not have all the evidence and we do not know the details of the defense laid out by the Defendant’s malpractice lawyers. But we know that it sounds like a very strong case for the Plaintiff.
The moral of the story – at least the Maryland Lawyer Blog’s moral of the story – is that there is still enough of a halo effect that Maryland malpractice lawyers see and will continue to see that leads many juries to err on the side of doctors even in rather extreme cases. So malpractice victims are facing a stacked deck: a presumption the doctor did the right thing coupled with laws that slant this system in favor of doctors. There is nothing we can do about the former but we can roll back the latter by fighting in our state legislatures to allow juries to award what they believe is appropriate (subject to, as always, the trial judge’s right to modify the verdict if appropriate).
If you live in the Baltimore Washington area and believe you have been a victim of medical negligence in Maryland, click here and you can speak at no fee or cost to you one of our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers who will be happy to discuss your case with you over the phone (800-553-8082), in person, or by email.