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Maryland Court Discusses Federal Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Claims

It is not uncommon for injuries caused by medical malpractice to occur simultaneously with other harm. In such cases, the injured party may be able to pursue numerous causes of action in a single lawsuit. Depending on where the matter is filed, though, the dismissal of one claim may result in the court’s refusal to preside over the remaining claims. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland case in which the court declined to exercise jurisdiction over state medical malpractice claims after dismissing federal claims. If you suffered harm because of negligent medical care, it is advisable to speak to a seasoned Maryland medical malpractice lawyer about your options for seeking compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff was living in a federally owned facility when he fell down the stairs. He immediately began to experience pain and swelling in his right foot and ankle and visited the medical unit of the facility. He was provided a muscle rub and an ace bandage and advised to call the medical unit if his symptoms worsened. He was not advised to follow up and did not undergo any x-rays. His symptoms became more severe, and numerous days later, he was taken to the hospital, where it was determined that he suffered a fracture.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant in the Maryland district court, alleging violation of his Eighth Amendment rights against the wanton and unnecessary infliction of pain. He filed a supplemental complaint as well, alleging medical malpractice claims against the defendant and arguing that the court had supplemental jurisdiction over such claims. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claims on the grounds he had not alleged sufficient facts that, if proven to be true, would allow him to recover compensation. The court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss, then began to analyze the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim.

Federal Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Cases

The court noted that the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims alleged violations of state law. Specifically, Maryland law requires that if the plaintiff filed his medical malpractice claims in state court, he would have had to obtain a certificate from a medical expert stating that the treatment provided by the defendant did not meet the applicable standard of care due to the amount of damages sought.

The court explained that when, as in the subject matter, federal claims are dismissed at an early juncture in a case, the federal courts tend to dismiss the state law claims without prejudice instead of retaining supplemental jurisdiction over them. As such, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims.

Meet with a Trusted Maryland Attorney  

Incompetent medical care often arises in the context of other tortious behavior, and many plaintiffs can pursue multiple claims against the parties that caused their harm. If you were injured by medical negligence, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The trusted Maryland medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of your rights and help you to seek the best outcome possible in your case. You can reach us at (410) 889-1850 or through our form online to set up a conference.

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