Maryland Court Discusses Federal Court Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Claims

Notwithstanding claims asserted under the Federal Tort Claims Act, medical malpractice claims are typically pursued in state court. In some instances, however, a plaintiff will set forth claims that sound in medical malpractice in a lawsuit that is filed in federal court and largely asserts federal claims. While the federal courts generally are permitted to exercise jurisdiction over state medical malpractice claims, they typically decline to do so. This was illustrated in a recent case in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit, which included both federal claims and state medical malpractice claims in its entirety. If you suffered harm due to inadequate medical care, you might be able to pursue claims for damages from your provider, and you should consult a Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assess your options for seeking compensation.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that while the plaintiff was staying in a long-term facility operated by the defendant, he sustained a bladder and urinary tract infection. He subsequently suffered complications due to the infection and had to be hospitalized due to blood clots in his bladder. He ultimately filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting multiple federal claims, as well as state medical malpractice claims. The defendant moved to dismiss the complaint in its entirety, arguing that the plaintiff failed to set forth facts, that if proven, would allow him to recover under any theory of liability. The court granted the defendant’s motion.

A Federal Court’s Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Claims

In dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint, the court expressly declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over his medical negligence allegations. The court explained that, pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a district court could decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a state law claim if it has dismissed all of the related claims over which it had original jurisdiction.

The court elaborated that, when federal claims are dismissed at an  early stage in proceedings, as they were in the subject case, the federal courts are more likely to dismiss a plaintiff’s state law claims without prejudice than they are to retain supplemental jurisdiction.” Based on the foregoing, the court opted not to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims but dismissed them along with his federal claims. The court dismissed the medical malpractice claims without prejudice, though, so that the plaintiff could pursue them in state court if he so desired.

Meet with a Dedicated Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

When physicians provide their patients with the inadequate medical care they often cause more harm than good, and health care providers that negligently injure their patients should be held accountable. If you were hurt by a careless doctor, you have the right to pursue damages, and you should meet with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. The dedicated Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and resources needed to hold negligent healthcare providers liable for the harm they cause, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf.  You can reach us through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.

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