Articles Posted in Firm News

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After a two-week jury trial, BMA Lawyers Aaron Moore and Jeff Quinn obtained a $2,596,589 verdict in Fairfax County, Virginia.

The case involved a 33-year-old woman diagnosed with an enlarged lymph node and Lyme’s disease.  In fact, both diagnoses were incorrect.  A general surgeon in 2011 found that the patient did not have an enlarged lymph node In March 2011 and a subsequent CT scan confirmed that finding. Fairfax-Circuit-Court-300x156

The patient was referred to an ENT surgeon who, nevertheless, recommended a lymph node biopsy in August 2011.  While performing the procedure, the surgeon cut across her spinal accessory nerve, an important nerve that supplies the neck and shoulder muscles.

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In an 82-page opinion yesterday, a federal judge permitted the claims of more than 800 Guatemalan victims of non-consensual human experimentation, represented by Bekman, Marder, Hopper, Malarkey & Perlin, to proceed against Defendants, Johns Hopkins, The Rockefeller Foundation, and BrEthically-Impossible-200x300istol-Myers Squibb.

The Plaintiffs’ class action claims arise from human experiments conducted in Guatemala in the 1940s.  The victims, including children, soldiers, prisoners, and individuals in asylums, among others, were intentionally infected with syphilis and other venereal diseases in order to study how those diseases were transmitted and spread.  The experiments were sponsored by the U.S. government, but Plaintiffs allege that the design and implementation of the experiments was entirely the work of non-governmental physicians, namely, high-ranking senior doctors and decision makers at Johns Hopkins Hospital, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Bristol-Myers Squibb in the 1940s.

In 2010, the U.S. government formally apologized for its role in the experiments, but the private organizations have never apologized. They do not dispute that their doctors were involved in planning and overseeing the experiments, but have denied that the institutions or doctors actively participated in the non-consensual experiments themselves.

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Bekman, Marder, Hopper, Malarkey & Perlin and pharmacist-attorney, Aaron L. Moore have filed one of the first lawsuits in the country against Insys Therapeutics, Inc.  BMA is also investigating additional similar lawsuits.

If you or someone you know has been prescribed the powerful narcotic Subsys, also known as oral Fentanyl spray, call us now at 410-539-6633.

Subsys is a medication that is 100 times more potent than morphine.  It is a fentanyl-based opioid mouth spray intended to treat cancer patients suffering intense episodes of breakthrough cancer pain.  Subsys should not be prescribed to patients who do not have cancer, but we have found there are many doctors prescribing it to patients off-label, who do not have cancer.

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Bekman, Marder, Hopper, Malarkey & Perlin is proud to announce the nomination of six of its lawyers to the 2017 Maryland Super Lawyers list.  Dale Adkins, Paul Bekman, Laurence Marder, Wendy Shiff, and Ryan Perlin have been named to the 2017 Maryland Super Lawyers list and Emily Malarkey has been recognized on the 2017 Maryland Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Super-Lawyers

The 2017 edition of the Maryland Super Lawyers magazine uses a patented multi-phase selection process to create its lawyer ratings.  Winners must receiving peer nominations from other attorneys and be qualified by third-party research across twelve categories conducted by an attorney-led research team.  The result is a Super Lawyers list that includes only up to 5 percent of the lawyers in a state and a Rising Stars list with no more than 2.5 percent of eligible lawyers.

Bekman, Marder, Hopper, Malarkey & Perlin is proud of its representation on this list and of all of the high-quality of lawyers at this law firm.  BMA handles complex cases of catastrophic injury caused by medical malpractice, legal malpractice, personal injury, birth trauma, products liability, maritime, and business litigation.  We represent the individuals and families affected by the negligence of others.

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Please join Bekman, Marder, Hopper, Malarkey & Perlin in congratulating partners Emily Malarkey and Dale Adkins, who recently obtained a $1,017,000 verdict on behalf of our client, who underwent an unnecessary major thoracic operation, suffered a herniation of lung tissue through his ribcage as a result, required another major surgical repair five years later, and experienced a painful and difficult case of post-thoracotomy pain syndrome.

Our client’s medical misadventure began when his radiologist improperly diagnosed him with a “wide mouthed” hernia of the diaphragm.  Our client never had a hernia, which the radiologist admitted during trial.  However, the radiologist presented testimony at trial that in Cecil County, the term “wide mouthed hernia” is used synonymously with the medical condition known as an “eventration.”  The problem is that a hernia is a condition requiring surgery, but an eventration is not.  Our client’s surgeon relied upon the radiologist’s diagnosis of hernia and proceeded with the wholly unnecessary surgery.

All issues were hotly contested at the trial, which involved testimony from ten physicians and a number of fact witnesses.  Trial lasted ten days and the jury deliberated for eight hours over the course of two days.  The jury’s verdict of $1,017,000 compensated Malarkey and Adkins’ client for his past medical expenses, past lost wages, and the pain and suffering he has unnecessarily had to endure.



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Following a four-week jury trial, SCBMA Partners Paul D. Bekman and Wendy L. Shiff obtained a verdict on behalf of their clients in a medical malpractice case tried in the Supreme Court of Dutchess County in Poughkeepskie, New York.


Dutchess Supreme and County Court, Poughkeepskie, New York

Bekman and Shiff represented  a resident of Dutchess County who underwent a cardiac catheterization and stent placement at a Dutchess County Hospital.  Following the procedure, nurses at the hospital failed to recognize that the patient was exhibiting signs and symptoms of a stent re-occlusion and myocardial infarction (heart attack).  No EKG was performed, nor was a physician contacted about the patient for approximately 6 hours.  As a result of the dely, the client sustained significant heart damage necessitating a heart transplant.

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On June 10, 2015, Partners Michael P. Smith and Ryan S. Perlin obtained a Plaintiffs’ verdict on behalf of their clients in a negligence case tried in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County in Rockville, Maryland.


Rockville, Maryland

Smith and Perlin represented a young man with emotional and behavioral disabilities, who was a resident at a residential treatment center which specialized in providing psychiatric treatment for adolescents.  When the plaintiff was fifteen years old, staff members improperly physically restrained him in violation of applicable deescalation and restraint guidelines.  As a result, the plaintiff suffered detached retinas in both eyes.  He required eight subsequent retinal and corneal operations to repair the detachments and cataracts that developed subsequently.  Even with corrective lenses, his vision will never be 20/20, which is what it was before his injuries.

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The Court of Special Appeals, Maryland’s intermediate appellate court, today upheld a $1.3 million verdict in a case tried by SCBMA partners, Michael Smith and Ryan Perlin, in an unreported opinion.  The medical malpractice case was originally tried in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County for one week in April 2014.  After two days of deliberations, the jury issued a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs for $2.13 million, which was automatically reduced because of Maryland’s statutory cap on noneconomic damages.

Mr. Smith and Mr. Perlin represent the Watt family in the case.  Suit was originally filed on their behalf in 2012, after Mrs. Watt underwent surgery to repair a persistent hiatal hernia.  The first operation failed and her surgeon attempted a revision procedure.  During the revision, the surgeon negligently utilized a synthetic, plastic mesh to hold the hernia in place.

Mr. Smith and Mr. Perlin presented evidence through well-credentialed, board-certified general surgeons that it was negligent for the defendant surgeon to use the plastic mesh in the first place because it was well-known to erode into the body’s tissues and cause serious, possibly fatal, complications.  The experts also testified that the mesh was applied by the surgeon improperly.  As a result of the negligence, the mesh slowly eroded into and through Mrs. Watt’s esophagus, preventing her from eating other than through a tube.  She lost a significant amount of weight and required numerous subsequent surgeries and procedures.  She has also required at least six endoscopic gastrointestinal procedures during which a laser is inserted into her esophagus to burn away the eroded mesh.  Despite all of the procedures, Ms. Watt still has mesh in her chest and esophageal tissues.

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Today, on behalf of over 750 victims and family members, SCBMA filed a lawsuit against The Rockefeller Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation, alleging that they were the primary driving force behind illegal and immoral human experiments in which vulnerable populations of Guatemalans were deceived, and intentionally exposed to syphilis, gonorrhea and other venereal diseases without treatment in the 1940s and 1950s.

The experiments targeted school children, orphans, psychiatric hospital patients, prison inmates and military conscripts.  In 2010, the Obama Administration apologized to Guatemala for the experiments and created a Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to investigate them.

The Presidential Commission issued its findings in September 2011 along with a Study Guide.  There has also been considerable research and scholarship about the circumstances which led to the human experimentation, such as this article by Kayte Spector-Bagdady, J.D., M. Bioethics, and Paul Lombardo, Ph.D, J.D., who are, respectively, the Associate Director and a Senior Advisor to the Presidential Commission.

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Bekman, Marder, Hopper, Malarkey & Perlin, L.L.C. is proud to announce that it has been named to the U.S. News and World Report “Best Law Firms” list.SCBMA Best Lawyers  Nationally, SCBMA was named to the Third Tier of the Best Law Firms in the are of Admiralty and Maritime Law.  In Maryland, SCBMA was named to the First Tier in the areas of Admiralty & Maritime Law, Arbitration, Mediation, Plaintiffs’ Medical Malpractice, Plaintiffs’ Personal Injury, and Plaintiffs’ Product Liability Litigation.

For the 2015 “Best Law Firms” list, U.S. News and World Report uses a rigorous evaluation process that includes client evaluations, lawyer evaluations, and peer review from local and national leading attorneys.  Additionally, before any law firm can be named in the “Best Law Firms” list, it must have at least one lawyer who is included in the U.S. News “Best Lawyers” list.  Our firm is proud to have four attorneys named to the “Best Lawyers” list including Paul D. Bekman, E. Dale Adkins, III, Daniel M. Clements, and Stuart M. Salsbury.

Our firm takes great pride in being selected by our peers and colleagues as one of the best law firms in Maryland.  If you would like to discuss a possible case with our lawyers, call us at 410-539-6633.