Susan T. Preston
One of the founding partners of the firm, Ms. Preston has an extensive defense practice in the area of professional negligence with concentration on cases involving complex medical issues. She also has significant experience in the defense of product liability claims against the manufacturers of medical devices. Her abilities have been recognized by election as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the premier organization of the trial bar that invites only one percent of attorneys to its ranks.
Ms. Preston represents hospitals, medical practices, and individual health care practitioners in a wide array of medical and nursing specialties in professional malpractice claims before the Circuit Courts of Maryland, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the United States District Courts for the District of Columbia and Maryland.
By strategic development of cases through discovery, Ms. Preston has obtained dismissal of her clients after successful Daubert challenges, including dismissal of all claims brought by a national television personality seeking $20 million in damages for alleged failure to diagnose an ischemic stroke. The decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Representative cases Ms. Preston has tried to verdict include personal injury and wrongful death claims alleging failure to diagnose breast, lung, skin, and cervical cancer; personal injury claims alleging obstetrical or pediatric malpractice resulting in brain damage to infants at or around the time of birth; dual wrongful death claims arising out of a maternal and fetal death from a mother’s ruptured spleen; a wrongful death and personal injury action against a gastroenterologist alleging failure to diagnose leiomyosarcoma; wrongful death cases against hospitals and obstetricians alleging obstetrical malpractice resulting in stillbirth and/or death of pre-term and full-term infants; a personal injury and wrongful death claim alleging failure to diagnose a cerebral aneurysm resulting in rupture; and myriad cases involving spinal, gynecological and general surgery, nursing, radiology, infectious disease and emergency medicine.
Ms. Preston served on the trial team representing a product manufacturer in product liability suits alleging serious personal injuries arising out of the use of an intrauterine device. With two other partners at Goodell DeVries, Ms. Preston was responsible for an active docket of 450 individual cases in Maryland and Washington, D.C. She developed expert witnesses, handled all phases of pretrial discovery, and second-chaired trials of cases in Maryland and in other jurisdictions.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Preston also represented the insureds of general liability carriers with an emphasis in product liability. She was responsible for all phases of pre-trial discovery, including the development of liability and medical expert witnesses, defending and taking depositions and pleading practice, including motions to dismiss, motions to bifurcate, motions for summary judgment and motions in limine. She second-chaired jury trials alleging serious personal injury, including quadriplegia and paraplegia, in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and in the Circuit Courts of Maryland.
After law school, Ms. Preston spent a year and a half as a law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence F. Rodowsky of the Court of Appeals of Maryland.
Honors and Awards
- Chambers USA, Leader in Healthcare: Medical Malpractice (2006 - 2012) (During recent interviews with Chambers USA clients said “Susan T. Preston has an impressive ability to analyze and explain difficult medical issues” (2010) and “she is head and shoulders above many of her peers.” (2011))
- The Best Lawyers in America, Medical Malpractice Law-Defendants (2008 - 2017)
- The Best Lawyers in America, "Lawyer of the Year" Award for Baltimore Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants Baltimore (2013)
- Maryland Super Lawyers (2007 - 2015) (Top Ten: 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014; Top 50: 2007 - 2012; Top 100 2013-2015)
- Featured on the 2010 cover of Maryland Super Lawyers magazine
- American College of Trial Lawyers (State Committee 2003 - 2011)
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
- The Defense Research Institute
- Maryland Defense Counsel, Inc. (President, 1993 - 1994; Executive Committee, 1988 - 1993)
- Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (Board of Directors, 2008 - Present; Vice President, 2009 - 2011; Chair Fundraising Committee, 2009 - 2011)
- Maryland Society for Healthcare Risk Management (President, 2000 - 2001; President-Elect, 1999 - 2000; Chairman, Legislative Committee, 1996 - 1999; Member at Large, 1997 - 1999)(MSHRM)
- Maryland State Bar Association
- Bar Association of Baltimore City
- Faculty, "Masters in Trial: A Trial Demonstration," The Foundation of The American Board of Trial Advocates and The Maryland Trial Lawyers Association
- Lecturer, Medical Staff Meeting at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Inc., "EMTLA and Mental Health Issues"
- Lecturer, Daughters of Charity National Health System, "DNR Orders in Perioperative Environment," Tucson, Arizona
- Invited speaker, Southern Maryland Hospital Medical Staff Office, "Confidentiality of Medical Records"
- Invited speaker, Med-Star Health System, "Selected Issues in Nursing Malpractice"
- Invited speaker, Mercy Medical Center, Inc., "Nursing Malpractice, Don’t Be An Easy Target"
- Lecturer, University of Maryland Grand Rounds, Department of Anesthesia, "Anesthesia Liability Trends and Issues"
- Lecturer, University of Maryland Grand Rounds, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, "Shoulder Dystocia"
- Lecturer, Mercy Medical Center, Inc. Grand Rounds, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, "Shoulder Dystocia"
- Lecturer, Columbia Medical Plan, "Liability Issues for the Multi-Specialty Office Practice"
- University of Maryland Medical System Corporation Resident Education Seminar - Lecture to Entire Incoming Residency Classes at the University of Maryland Medical System Corporation, "Documentation"
- Lecturer, Union Memorial Hospital, "PACU Liability Issues"
- Lecturer, Medical Staff Meeting, Southern Maryland Hospital - "COBRA and EMTALA"
- Speaker, Bar Association of Baltimore City, "Defense of Economic Damage Claims"
Selected Reported Cases
- D'Angelo v. St. Agnes Healthcare, Inc., 853 A.2d 813 (Md. App. 2004)
- Smith v. Pearre, et al., 625 A.2d 349 (Md. App. 1993)
- Palmer v. Ozbek, 144 F.R.D. 66 (D. Md. 1992)
- Robertson v. Allied Signal, et al., 914 F.2d 360 (3rd Cir. 1990)
- Ramrattan v. Burger King Corp., et al., 656 F.Supp. 522 (D. Md. 1987)
- Zeller v. Greater Baltimore Medical Center, 506 A.2d 646 (Md. App. 1986)