The family whose loved one was the victim of a botched kidney transplant surgery will sue the university hospital due to a negligence claim, but any lawsuit would have to be decided in the state claims court and not by a jury.The University Medical Center officials finally acknowledged that human error led to destroying a kidney removed from a living donor. The organ was going to be transplanted into the donor’s sister when it became medically unusable.This catastrophe ultimately resulted in the suspension of the kidney transplant program at the medical center.The facts of the failed surgery confirm negligence on the part of the staff involved.As an experienced trial attorney I have reviewed many cases of medical malpractice and have completed same with favorable results.
The victim’s family could be awarded financial damages but the case would have restrictions because the hospital is a state institution.The case would be filed in the Court of Claims and be heard only by a judge not a jury. Also the medical staff involved in the negligence can not be named as parties to the lawsuit due to the fact that state employees are given civil immunity. During the first phase, the merits of the case would be presented to the judge who would decide if the state should be held liable. If yes then a second phase would be argued to determine what monetary damages will be awarded. Each phase can possibly take months or years and the plaintiff likely will be thwarted by caps on the amount of money they are entitled to.According to state law, non economic loss can not exceed $350,000,but if there is a catastrophic injury the cap rises to $600,000.A catastrophic injury is defined under the law as permanent and substantial deformity or loss of use of limb or loss of bodily organ system, or permanent physical functional injury.An Ivy League Medical School study concluded that incidents of malpractice occur more often than previously thought. When analyzing medical malpractice cases the study concluded that claims were paid for one in every 17 malpractices cases and that frequently patients were not even aware that they were the victims of bad or incompetent medical services.And a huge hurdle for someone suing the University Hospital is being directed to a court that does not allow a jury trial.And due to the caps the victims are not fully compensated and often cases don’t even see the light because the expense of trying it is larger than the possible financial reward. Also lost because of damage caps is the incentive for hospitals to monitor practices and create policies to create safer procedures.If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice please call me today at 800-320-0080 or visit one of my conveniently located offices in Rockville or Baltimore.