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Nurse Is Qualified Under Maryland Medical Malpractice Law To Submit a Certified Qualified Expert (CQE)

Posted by Frank Spector | May 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

Recently, the Maryland Supreme Court decided the case of Robinson v. Canton Healthcare. The issue in case was whether a nurse is qualified to sign the required report in a Maryland medical malpractice case. A link to the full opinion is provided.

This decision addresses an important issue in medical malpractice cases in Maryland, especially with regard to nursing home abuse cases. In Robinson, the patient developed bedsores that became worse. This eventually led to a massive infection culminating in sepsis and death. In other pages on my website, I discuss nursing home neglect and sepsis.

What Is A CQE Report?

In Maryland, the plaintiff (one who is bringing the lawsuit) is required to submit a written report from a qualified healthcare provider. The simple scenario is if you are suing an anesthesiologist, you are required to have another anesthesiologist prepare the CQE. You cannot have a surgeon prepare a CQE for an anesthesiologist. This makes sense since the standards, experience, and training are different. The CQE requirements are detailed in the Maryland Annotated Code, It states in relevant part, “[a] person having a claim against a healthcare provider for damage due to a medical injury” must timely file a CQE “attesting to
departure from standards of care, and that the departure from standards of care is the proximate cause of the alleged injury.” See CJP § 3-2A-04(a)(1)(i), (b)(1)(i). 

The CQE has been the subject of many disputes. One of them is whether a nurse is qualified to sign a CQE. The typical situation is that a medical doctor prepares the CQE and the argument has been that a nurse does not have the proper training. However, in nursing home cases, it is nurses who are the ones with the patients for most of the time. They are responsible for monitoring bedsores and taking appropriate action to prevent them from getting worse.  So it only makes sense that a nurse would be able to sign a CQE.

What Did The Court Decide?

In the lower court, the case was dismissed on the grounds that a nurse is not qualified to prepare a CQE.  On appeal, The Maryland Supreme Court reviewed the law and was faced with an issue that has not been clearly decided before. The Court held under Maryland's statutory and regulatory framework governing nursing services at a skilled nursing facility like Canton Harbor, a CQE may be predicated on the attestation of a registered nurse that breach of nursing standards for preventing and treating decubitus ulcers proximately caused the ulcer injury alleged in the negligence complaint. 

This is a major victory for nursing home victims of abuse. Up until now, a case may not be able to be brought for nursing home negligence if a nurse was not qualified. Medical doctors may not feel comfortable signing a CQE if it mostly deals with nursing issues. This court opinion eliminates that uncertainty.

Call An Experienced Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

Frank Spector has over 30 years of experience in helping those who have been neglected in nursing homes in Maryland and DC. Bedsores, infections, broken bones due to falls are the types of cases Frank Spector Law has been involved with. 

Call now for a free case review. 


About the Author

Frank Spector

Welcome to my profile page. Choosing a lawyer is a big decision. Here is some information so you can get to know me better. I am the third generation of lawyers in my family. I saw how lawyers can help people get justice for their injuries. So for over 30 years, I have helped those injured by m...


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