Directed verdicts in medical malpractice cases are alive and well in Maryland! As you may know firsthand, plaintiff’s theories of liability tend to evolve during the life of a case. During trial, listen closely to the precise theory of liability set forth in plaintiff’s case and ask:
- Is plaintiff’s expert qualified, pursuant to Maryland Rule 5-702(1), to offer his opinion or is he a “jack of all trades” and testifying outside his area of expertise?Does the plaintiff’s theory of liability make logical sense? Is it based on reliable principles and methodology or is it simply a “because I say so” opinion?
- Does this expert have a sufficient factual basis for each opinion, based on the testimony and other evidence actually presented at trial, as required by Maryland Rule 5-702(3)?
- Has the plaintiff connected all of the liability dots? Was there testimony from a qualified expert linking the precise alleged breach in the standard of care to the claimed injury?
If not, speak up! In a recent Baltimore City case we tried, the trial court concluded plaintiff’s experts were not qualified as to the causation element and this led to a directed verdict for our happy doctor!
Bottom line: moving for judgment is not just a rote exercise. Hold the plaintiff to her burden of proof on all elements from the time the complaint is filed through the close of evidence. Sometimes justice prevails before the jury even gets the case!
If we can assist with your trial preparation or analysis in any way, please contact us.