A proposed change to Maryland medical malpractice law, which is supported by the Maryland Hospital Association, would have the effect of “altering the definition of “health care provider” for purposes of certain provisions of law governing catastrophic health emergencies to include an employee, an agent, or a contractor of a health care facility who provides or assists in the provision of health care services; specifying the acts and omissions for which and altering the circumstances under which a health care provider has civil and criminal immunity related to a catastrophic health emergency; requiring that the immunity apply to any act or omission by a health care provider be directly or indirectly related to a catastrophic health emergency proclamation; establishing that court’s denial or grant of a health care provider’s motion to apply the immunity is immediately appealable; … ”
The bill’s sponsor also proposes that the proposed law “shall be construed to apply retroactively and shall be applied to and interpreted to affect health care provider civil and criminal immunity for any act or omission committed in furtherance of providing or assisting in the provision of health care services resulting from a catastrophic health emergency occurring on or after March 5, 2020.”
Specifically, the proposed new law would expand “health care provider” to include “(4) AN EMPLOYEE, AN AGENT, OR A CONTRACTOR OF A HEALTH CARE FACILITY WHO PROVIDES OR ASSISTS IN THE PROVISION OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES,” and provides “(A) A health care provider is immune from civil or criminal liability FOR ANY ACT OR OMISSION COMMITTED IN FURTHERANCE OF PROVIDING OR ASSISTING IN THE PROVISION OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES [if the health care provider acts in good faith and under] RESULTING FROM a catastrophic health emergency proclamation IF: (1) THE HEALTH CARE PROVIDER COMMITTED THE ACT OR OMISSION IN GOOD FAITH; AND (2) THE ACT OR OMISSION WAS COMMITTED DURING A CATASTROPHIC HEALTH EMERGENCY OR WITHIN 180 DAYS AFTER THE TERMINATION OF THE CATASTROPHIC HEALTH EMERGENCY. (B) SUBSECTION (A) SHALL APPLY TO ANY ACT OR OMISSION COMMITTED BY A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER THAT IS DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY RELATED TO A CATASTROPHIC HEALTH EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION. (C) A COURT’S DENIAL OR GRANT OF A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER’S MOTION TO APPLY THE IMMUNITY CONFERRED UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE IMMEDIATELY APPEALABLE.”
The proposed law further provides, “this Act is an emergency measure, is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health or safety, has been passed by a yea and nay vote supported by three–fifths of all the members elected to each of the two Houses of the General Assembly, and shall take effect from the date it is enacted.”
If you or a loved one may have a COVID-19 medical malpractice claim in Maryland or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly contact a Maryland COVID-19 medical malpractice lawyer, or a COVID-19 medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your COVID-19 medical malpractice claim for you and represent you and/or your loved one in a COVID-19 medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find COVID-19 medical malpractice attorneys in your U.S. state who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.