Craig B. Merkle - Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann, LLP

Craig B. Merkle

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2008
Phone: 410-783-4007

Mr. Merkle is one of the founding partners at Goodell DeVries and has been actively involved in trial practice since 1982. His practice is concentrated in professional malpractice defense, hospital litigation and professional disciplinary and licensing actions.  He also served as trial counsel with the firm's pharmaceutical and medical device practice groups.

Mr. Merkle is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).  He has also been repeatedly recognized for excellence in his practice by Chambers USA, Maryland Super Lawyersand Best Lawyers.

Medical Malpractice 
Mr. Merkle has represented physicians and health care providers in virtually every medical specialty, as well as community hospitals and academic medical centers throughout the State of Maryland. Representative self-insured institutions and insurance company clients include The Doctors Company, Mercy Medical Center, Upper Chesapeake Health System, Ascension Health, and St. Agnes HealthCare, Inc. Mr. Merkle has tried to verdict numerous cases in the Circuit Courts of Maryland, as well as in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

Medical Institutions Law
Mr. Merkle has been involved in the firm's medical drug and device practice.  He was lead trial counsel for multi-party trial groups in the diet drug litigation in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He has also been involved in the evaluation, discovery and work-up of lawsuits arising from prosthetic knee implants and the investigational study of diabetes drugs.

Professional Disciplinary, Privileging and General Hospital Litigation 
Mr. Merkle has represented health care systems in a number of matters that extend beyond the professional liability arena where he frequently practices.  For example, he is often requested to provide counsel and guidance to hospital leadership on issues concerning privileging and employment disputes, impaired physicians, boundary violations, and disciplinary actions.  This representation involves complex problem-solving challenges in an effort to balance the safety of patients, the common law and statutory obligations of the institution and the due process rights of the involved health care providers. Mr. Merkle has represented hospitals in lawsuits arising from denials and restrictions of hospital staff privileges. He has also been involved in the defense of hospitals in wrongful discharge suits brought by health care providers.

Other Civil Litigation
Mr. Merkle has represented individuals, partnerships and corporations in a wide array of litigation matters arising in tort and contract. For example, he represented a major manufacturer of dental equipment and supplies in recovering damages under a Licensing Agreement following a product recall of the licensed product by the FDA, FTC and EPA. He represented a hospital system in a series of lawsuits and claims arising from multiple patient deaths allegedly due to the outbreak of Legionella.

Appellate Practice
In addition to his trial experience, Mr. Merkle has extensive appellate experience. For example, he successfully handled an appeal in which the Maryland appellate court refused to recognize a duty by health care providers to warn friends and family members of a patient’s HIV status.

Western Maryland CollegeDuke UniversityJ.D. 1981
American College of Trial LawyersAmerican Board of Trial AdvocatesFourth Circuit Judicial ConferenceThe Defense Research InstituteMaryland Defense Counsel, Inc.

Case History

Feigh v. Ob/GynAssociates — Circuit Court for Baltimore County (2013).  Obtained defense verdict on post-trial motion for j.n.o.v. for group of Ob/Gyns.  Plaintiff developed Ogilvie’s Syndrome and ruptured cecum following cesarean section.  She sued her treating obstetricians and gastroenterology consultants.  Following a verdict in her favor against all defendants, the Circuit Court granted the motion for j.n.o.v. on behalf of the obstetrical defendants.
Carannante v. Zimmerman — Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County (2013).  Obtained defense verdict for gastroenterologist in a wrongful death claim arising from outpatient procedure where 42 year old patient sustained a cardiac arrest during a colonoscopy.  Plaintiffs alleged the gastroenterologist had duty to monitor the patient’s vital signs in the same fashion as the anesthesiologist who was present for the case.
Hoben v. CUA — Circuit Court for Baltimore County (2012).  Obtained defense verdict for urologist who allegedly injured patient’s bladder during surgery to place urethral sling following prostatectomy.
Sheppard v. DCH — Circuit Court for Prince George's County (2012).  Obtained defense verdict for anesthesiologist and C.R.N.A. who were alleged to have caused a tear in the patient's airway during intubation
Ward v. MASG — Circuit Court for Wicomico County (2012).  Obtained defense verdict in a wrongful death claim for general surgeon who allegedly injured bowel during laparoscopic hernia repair procedure.  Patient developed multiple post-operative complications, including enterocutaneous fistula, with medical bills exceeding $1 million.
Paluba v. MASG — Circuit Court for Wicomico County (2012).  Obtained defense verdict in wrongful death claim for general surgeon who allegedly failed to diagnose anastamotic leak in patient undergoing a lower anterior resection for rectal cancer.  The patient's subsequent course was complicated by high ileostomy output, an infected endograft and aortoenteric fistula.
Powell v. Dr. B — Circuit Court for Carroll County (2011).  Obtained defense verdict on behalf of an internist in a suit alleging wrongful death of a 39-year-old morbidly obese patient who developed fatal pulmonary embolism one month after fasciotomy to treat compartment syndrome in his lower extremity.  Plaintiffs alleged extended DVT prophylaxis was required at the time of discharge.
Penn v. Lee — Circuit Court for Prince George's County (2011).  Obtained defense verdict for obstetrician/gynecologist. Plaintiff alleged delay in the diagnosis and treatment of necrotizing fasciitis following hysterectomy.
Eskandary v. RHJN — Circuit Court for Montgomery County (2011).  Obtained defense verdict after three weeks of trial for obstetrical group and three obstetricians in suit alleging birth trauma and profound neurological damages to infant.  Plaintiffs sought $20 million in damages following death of the infant’s mother during the 40th week of pregnancy from a congenital cardiomyopathy and ischemic brain injury to fetus.
Schaefer v. Moen — Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County (2010).  Obtained defense verdict after two weeks of trial for gynecologist in wrongful death claim alleging failure to diagnose endometrial cancer.
Barbely v. PPS — Circuit Court for Wicomico County (2010).  Obtained defense verdict for plastic surgeon in claim for permanent damages, scarring, and pain following breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
Disney v. McClain, et al. — Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County.  Obtained defense verdict for obstetrician in medical malpractice claim alleging $6 million in damages for cerebral palsy and brain damage due to pre-term delivery of infant claimant.
Hevey v. Hill — Circuit Court for Baltimore City.  Obtained defense verdict for hand surgeon in medical malpractice claim alleging amputation due to failure to treat infected wounds following crush injury.
Mandell v. Zonies — Circuit Court for Baltimore City.  Obtained defense verdict for internist in claim alleging failure to diagnose impending myocardial infarction and permanent heart damage.

Client Comments

"Mr. Merkle, particularly in the Defense of Malpractice cases and Professional Board actions, is always able to set our staff at ease and to more than adequately prepare them to testify. His thorough knowledge of the inner workings of health care goes far toward achieving this outcome."

"Mr. Merkle is the lead attorney for cases assigned to this law firm by our health system. Mr. Merkle is consistent when assigning an associate or junior attorney to a case in that that he searches within his firm to provide us with the attorney who has the most expertise in the area for which we need representation. He is very responsive and always willing to answer our questions. "

Office Location

One South Street, 20th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

Practice Areas

Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants
Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants

Other Information

Gender: Male