Dugan, Babij & Tolley, LLC Receives Trial Lawyer of the Year award From the Maryland Association For Justice
Timonium, MD Firm recognized for successful prosecution of a medical malpractice case vindicating the legal right of all Maryland residents to obtain complete and accurate information from their physicians on medical treatment risks, benefits and alternatives.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. June 1, 2010. Dugan, Babij & Tolley, LLC has received the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Maryland Association for Justice (MAJ) in recognition of the efforts of the firm’s principal members, Henry E. Dugan, Jr., Bruce J. Babij and George S. Tolley, III, in representing Dylan McQuitty who, at the time of his birth in 1995, suffered significant neurologic injuries as a result of a complete placental abruption suffered by his mother during her pregnancy.
In a case with important ramifications in defining the scope of the doctrine of Informed Consent in Maryland, attorneys Henry E. Dugan, Jr., Bruce J. Babij and George S. Tolley, III of Dugan, Babij & Tolley, LLC, argued that, after suffering an initial, partial placental abruption, Dylan McQuitty’s mother did not thereafter receive complete and accurate information from her managing obstetrician to permit her to make an informed decision as to whether to choose earlier delivery of her son by cesarean section or to wait and delay delivery. Attorney’s Dugan, Babij and Tolley further argued that, in contravention of Ms. McQuitty’s legally protected autonomy and, without first obtaining her informed consent, Mrs. McQuitty’s managing obstetrician unilaterally decided to wait and delay delivery, during which time Mrs. McQuitty suffered a complete placental abruption, directly causing her son’s devastating global, neurologic injuries.
After protracted and complex litigation, on September 26, 2006, a Baltimore County Jury found in favor of Dylan McQuitty, awarding him approximately Thirteen Million, One Hundred Thousand Dollars in compensatory damages.
However, in ruling upon a post trial motion filed by the Defendant obstetrician, the trial court struck the jury’s award, agreeing with the Defendant obstetrician that the doctrine of Informed Consent under Maryland law was circumscribed and was inapplicable to those medical situations in which a physician’s proposed course of care or treatment did not involve a violation of a patient’s “physical integrity”.
As a result of the continuing efforts of Dugan, Babij & Tolley, LLC, in the seminal case of McQuitty v Spangler, 410 Md. 1, 976 A.2d 1020 (2009), the Maryland Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s ruling, explicitly holding that the doctrine of Informed Consent in Maryland does not require that a physician’s course of care and treatment involve any “affirmative violation of the patients physical integrity” but, rather, that the physician’s duty to inform requires that the physician divulge all information that would be material to the patient’s decision about whether to submit to, or continue with, any medical treatment.
The Court of Appeals decision in McQuitty v Spangler represents a major victory for patients’ rights in the state of Maryland. “We are honored to receive this prestigious award from MAJ in recognition of our work over the 13 years that we have been honored to represent Dylan McQuitty and his family,” said Henry E. Dugan, Jr., founding partner of Dugan, Babij & Tolley, LLC. “It is the ultimate goal of our firm to assist the parents of children who have suffered birth injuries to identify what really happened to cause their baby to be injured. If the injuries could have reasonably been avoided, we will fight to ensure that the family receives the justice they deserve and the resources that they will require to care for their child’s potentially life long medical and rehabilitation care and treatment needs.”
The MAJ Trial Lawyer of the Year award is bestowed annually by the MAJ upon the Maryland trial lawyer or team of trial lawyers who have made the greatest contribution to the public interest by litigating a case of precedential value to the citizens of Maryland.
The award was granted to Henry E. Dugan, Jr., Bruce J. Babij and George S. Tolley, III, on behalf of their Firm at the MAJ President’s and Installation of Officers Dinner on May 22, 2010 at the Hilton Baltimore Hotel, 401 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to being honored with the MAJ Trial Lawyer of the Year award, George S. Tolley, III was named Vice President of the Maryland Association for Justice.
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