Maryland Court Discusses Federal Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Claims

While it rarely occurs, it is possible for a medical provider that causes a patient harm to commit other grievances as well. As such, a person harmed by medical malpractice may assert numerous causes of action in one lawsuit against the provider that caused their harm, and in many instances, such matters are pursued in the federal courts. Whether the federal courts will exercise jurisdiction over state medical malpractice claims depends on multiple factors, as discussed in a recent Maryland ruling in which the court ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s case in its entirety. If you were harmed by a negligent healthcare provider, you have the right to seek damages for your losses, and you should speak to a skilled Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was housed in a federal facility when he sustained an injury to his left hand. He sought treatment for his injury from a nurse in the facility. He was diagnosed with a “boxer’s fracture” and treated with an arm sling, a wrap, and a splint. At some point, he refractured his finger. He alleges that after his second fracture, he did not receive pain medication or a wrap to stabilize his finger for three weeks.

It is alleged that the plaintiff ultimately suffered a reduced range of motion and the inability to completely bend his left pinkie finger. He filed a lawsuit against the nurse, alleging that she failed to treat his finger properly in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. He also asserted state medical malpractice and negligence claims against her. The nurse moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s federal claims. The court granted the motion and dismissed the state claims along with the federal claims.

Federal Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Claims

The bulk of the court’s discussion focused on whether the plaintiff’s complaint set forth sufficient factual allegations to sustain his federal claims against the nurse. The court ultimately determined that the plaintiff, who filed the complaint pro se, failed to aver adequate factual allegations to allow the federal claims to proceed. As such, it dismissed the plaintiff’s federal claims against the nurse.

While the court, in large part, focused on the plaintiff’s federal claims, it did address his state law claims, in that it noted it declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over them as it was permitted to under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. As such, it dismissed the state along with the federal claims. The claims were not dismissed with prejudice, however, so the plaintiff was free to pursue them in state court.

Meet with a Trusted Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical providers that recklessly cause their patients harm should be held accountable, and anyone injured by the incompetence of a doctor should meet with an attorney as soon as possible to determine if they may be able to assert medical malpractice claims. If you were harmed by a negligent doctor, the trusted Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can assess the circumstances surrounding your injury and help you to seek any compensation you may be owed. You can reach us via our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.

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