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Maryland Court Assesses Medical Malpractice Claims Asserted in Federal Lawsuits

The medical care offered to people who are housed in federal facilities, unfortunately, is often inadequate. People who sustain injuries due to such incompetent care have the right to pursue claims against the parties responsible for their harm, however. In many instances, such claims will arise under both state and federal law. While a plaintiff is permitted to pursue state law medical malpractice claims and allegations that the defendant violated their civil rights in one lawsuit, there are often practical challenges with asserting both claims in one case. This was demonstrated recently in an opinion issued by a Maryland court in a matter in which it dismissed the plaintiff’s federal complaint, which included medical malpractice claims. If you were injured by a reckless healthcare provider, you might be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to confer with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer regarding your potential claims.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was housed in a facility owned by the defendant. He alleged that during his stay, he received inadequate medical care for his anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. He subsequently filed a pro se federal lawsuit against the defendant, arguing his civil rights were violated. The plaintiff’s complaint also asserted medical negligence claims that arose out of state law. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s case in its entirety. After reviewing the complaint, the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff’s response, the court found in favor of the defendant and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Medical Malpractice Claims Asserted in Federal Lawsuits

While the court discussed the factual sufficiency of the plaintiff’s federal claims, it did not do so for the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims. Instead, it merely declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over them due to the fact that it dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction. The court noted that the claims were not dismissed with prejudice, and therefore, the plaintiff could pursue them in state court if he so pleased.

The court noted, however, that if the plaintiff intended to pursue medical malpractice claims in state court, he must follow the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Act. Specifically, he was required to file his claims with the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office prior to filing a lawsuit if the damages he sought exceeded the jurisdictional amount for the state district courts.

Speak to an Assertive Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

Patients typically expect that the treatment they receive from their doctors will be thorough and adequate, but sadly, physicians do not always offer competent care. If you suffered harm due to the careless acts of your treatment provider, you have the right to pursue medical malpractice claims against them, and you should speak to an attorney. The assertive Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of what damages you may be able to recover, and if we represent you, we will advocate zealously on your behalf.  You can contact us through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.

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