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Apology By A Doctor

In 2004, the Maryland legislature enacted a statute that prevents a plaintiff or plaintiff’s lawyer from mentioning to a jury in a medical malpractice case that a doctor apologized or expressed regret, if the purpose of the plaintiff in seeking to tell that to the jury is to prove liability or use it as an admission of the doctor’s liability. The statute, however, does not protect a doctor’s admission of liability or fault that is part of or in addition to an apology or expression of regret.

That statute, which is found in Section 10-920 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, states as follows:

(a) In this section, “health care provider” has the meaning stated in § 3-2A-01 of this article.

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, in a proceeding subject to Title 3, Subtitle 2A of this article or a civil action against a health care provider, an expression of regret or apology made by or on behalf of the health care provider, including an expression of regret or apology made in writing, orally, or by conduct, is inadmissible as evidence of an admission of liability or as evidence of an admission against interest.

(2) An admission of liability or fault that is part of or in addition to a communication made under paragraph (1) of this subsection is admissible as evidence of an admission of liability or as evidence of an admission against interest in an action described under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

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