Recent Case Results

Goodell DeVries Prevails in Venue Dispute at Court of Special Appeals; Medical Malpractice Case Filed in Baltimore City Must Proceed in Baltimore County

January 2017

The Court of Special Appeals has affirmed a venue decision transferring a high-profile medical malpractice case from Baltimore City to Baltimore County. Plaintiff suffered a stroke in Baltimore County and received allegedly negligent treatment first in Baltimore County and then in Baltimore City. She filed suit in Baltimore City Circuit Court against six defendants: the Baltimore County hospital and various County physicians along with a City hospital and its doctor. Amy Heinrich and Kristin Rieger successfully moved to transfer the case to the County for lack of proper venue in the City. Because the transfer ended the case in the City, Plaintiff filed an interlocutory appeal arguing that Courts and Judicial Proceedings Section 6-202(8), which allows suit to be filed “where the cause of action arose,” made the City a proper alternative venue choice. Arguing the appeal on behalf of all Defendants, Derek Stikeleather persuaded the appellate panel that Plaintiff’s allegations that the Defendants had first harmed her while she was in the County made the County the sole venue where the cause of action arose. Affirming the transfer ruling, the appellate court handed down its unreported decision just 26 days after hearing oral argument.