The judge who presided over a Maryland medical malpractice birth injury trial that resulted in an historic verdict in the amount of $229,640,000.00 in July 2019 has ruled on the defense’s post-trial motions to reduce the verdict, thereby reducing the $25 million that the Maryland medical malpractice jury had awarded for noneconomic damages, to $740,000.00, which was the cap on noneconomic damages in Maryland medical malpractice claims that was in effect at the time of the harm.
Nonetheless, the trial judge ruled that the plaintiff had proved her case at trial and that the defendant hospital had received a fair trial. The judge therefore denied the defense motion for a new trial and denied the defense motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.
The Maryland medical malpractice plaintiff had alleged that she was provided inaccurate information by the defendant hospital regarding her then unborn baby. The alleged inaccurate information included being advised by hospital physicians that her baby would likely suffer brain damage or die, and the recommendation that she terminate her pregnancy despite the baby being viable, leading the plaintiff to decline delivery by Cesarean section.
The baby subsequently suffered a brain injury in utero and has been diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy. The plaintiff’s daughter is now in foster care where she receives skilled nursing care sixteen hours per day.
The Baltimore medical malpractice birth injury jury had awarded $3,620,000 for past medical expenses, $200,000,000 for future medical expenses, $1,020,000 for lost earnings, and $25,000,000 in noneconomic damages.
Maryland Cap On Noneconomic Damages In Medical Malpractice Cases
Md. COURTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS Code Ann. § 3-2A-09 provides, in part: “an award or verdict under this subtitle for noneconomic damages for a cause of action arising between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2008, inclusive, may not exceed $ 650,000. (ii) The limitation on noneconomic damages provided under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph shall increase by $ 15,000 on January 1 of each year beginning January 1, 2009. The increased amount shall apply to causes of action arising between January 1 and December 31 of that year, inclusive … the limitation under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall apply in the aggregate to all claims for personal injury and wrongful death arising from the same medical injury, regardless of the number of claims, claimants, plaintiffs, beneficiaries, or defendants. (ii) If there is a wrongful death action in which there are two or more claimants or beneficiaries, whether or not there is a personal injury action arising from the same medical injury, the total amount awarded for noneconomic damages for all actions may not exceed 125% of the limitation established under paragraph (1) of this subsection, regardless of the number of claims, claimants, plaintiffs, beneficiaries, or defendants.”
If you or your baby suffered a birth injury (or worse) during labor and/or delivery in Maryland or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a birth injury lawyer in Maryland or in your state who may investigate your birth injury claim for you and represent you and your child in a birth injury medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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