Federal Court Discusses Establishing Jurisdiction in Medical Malpractice Cases

People aggrieved by incompetent medical care have the right to seek damages from the providers responsible for their harm via medical malpractice claims. There are fees associated with pursuing such claims, though, and some people may be hesitant to file them out of fear that they cannot afford the costs. Fortunately, the law allows people who meet certain requirements to proceed in forma pauperis, which means that they can avoid many of the financial obligations associated with seeking compensation for medical negligence. They must ensure that their claims are properly pled; however, and if they are not, both their request to proceed in forma pauperis and their claims may be dismissed. If you were harmed by the negligence of your treatment provider, it is in your best interest to confer with a skilled Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what you must show to recover damages.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the emergency room of the defendant hospital in February 2022 with complaints of chest pain and difficulty breathing. He alleged that the defendant’s staff was gravely incompetent in that it failed to take or consider his complete medical history and painfully administered IV therapy. Further, he alleged that he was wrongfully discharged despite having pneumonia and fluid in his lungs.

It is reported that the defendant attributed the failings of the defendant’s staff to a pattern of racism towards people of color. He subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the defendant and a petition to proceed in forma pauperis.

Establishing Jurisdiction in Medical Malpractice Cases

Upon review, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint and denied his petition on the grounds that he failed to set forth a viable federal question. The court explained that a federal court’s jurisdiction must be clear and distinct; the mere inference of a federal question is not adequate to establish the jurisdiction of federal courts.

Further, the court found that to the extent the plaintiff attempted to assert a medical malpractice claim, he failed to establish diversity jurisdiction. To establish federal diversity jurisdiction, there must be complete diversity between all parties. In other words, the plaintiff and defendant must be citizens of different states. In the subject case, the plaintiff and defendant were both citizens of the same state; thus, diversity jurisdiction was defeated. Based on the foregoing, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Speak to a Maryland Attorney About Your Case

People harmed by negligent health care providers can pursue damages in medical malpractice lawsuits regardless of whether they can afford the costs and fees associated with filing such claims. If you suffered harm at the hands of a reckless doctor, it is wise to speak to an attorney about your rights as soon as possible. The dedicated Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and resources needed to prove liability in medical malpractice lawsuits, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.

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