When a doctor improperly performs a dental procedure, it can lead to decay, tooth loss, and lasting pain. Thus, a person harmed by a negligent dentist may be able to recover damages via a malpractice lawsuit. As with malpractice claims against doctors, though, people seeking compensation for harm caused by careless dentists must comply with jurisdictional and procedural rules; otherwise, their claims may be denied. This was demonstrated in a recent opinion in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims because of his failure to abide by the conditions precedent under Maryland law. If you were harmed by a careless dentist, it is smart to speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to determine whether you may be owed compensation.
The Plaintiff’s Injuries
It is reported that the defendant performed oral surgery on the plaintiff, which involved exposing the bone under his bottom gum, grinding it down, and closing the gum with sutures. After the surgery, the plaintiff’s lower dentures no longer fit properly. He was then advised that the surgery should not have been performed and that he would need dental implants. As such, he filed a lawsuit against the defendant in federal court, arguing he committed malpractice by performing the surgery. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction over the claims. The court ultimately granted the motion.
Pursuing Malpractice Claims in Maryland Federal Courts
Federal courts have limited jurisdiction. Thus, they must assume that a matter lies outside of their jurisdiction unless proven otherwise. The party asserting that jurisdiction is proper bears the burden of establishing subject matter jurisdiction. Typically, federal courts can only hear claims arising out of federal questions or where there is a diversity of citizenship, which requires the parties to be residents of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. In the subject case, the court noted that the plaintiff had not alleged diversity jurisdiction or that the parties were citizens of different states. As such, the court found that diversity jurisdiction had not been established. Continue Reading