Maryland's Health Care Malpractice Claims Act ("the Act"), Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-2A-01, et seq. (2010), provides the statutory scheme requiring that all cases of medical malpractice first be filed with a state agency and further requires that all such claims be supported by a certificate of qualified expert. A certifying expert must attest in a certificate and accompanying reportthat the standards of care for the treatment at issue were breached and that the breach proximately caused the victim injury. The expert's report must explain the "hows and whys" of his or her opinions.
You may have heard it being bantered about in the media. You may have also dismissed the idea the second you heard it. It remains to be seen whether or not the Federal Government , through it's mortgage arms, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will actually implement a non-judicial cramdown of millions of mortgages.
The Court of Appeals of Maryland on October 28, 2010 issued its opinion in Kearney v. Berger in which it affirmed the dismissal of a medical malpractice claim because the plaintiff/claimant failed to file a sufficient certificate of qualified expert as required by the Maryland Health Malpractice Claims Act. The court held the certificate deficient because it lacked an accompanying report from the attesting expert and rejected arguments by the plaintiff/petitioner that the defendant doctor had waived the right to challenge the certificate since he unilaterally waived arbitration which, as a prerequisite, requires that the claimant file a certificate required by the Act. The court further clarified that an expert's report is insufficient if it does not include in specific detail in "how" or "why" the defendant allegedly departed from the standard of care. The court however, rejected, the defendant's assertion that the certificate was likewise deficient because it failed to state that the expert satisfied the "twenty percent rule" or that his opinions were expressed to a reasonable degree of medical probability.