Maryland Court Discusses Medical Malpractice Claims Against Federal Entities

Veterans will often seek medical care from federally funded veterans’ organizations. If the care they receive is negligent and subsequently causes them to suffer injuries, they may be able to pursue claims against the federal government. They must comply with any applicable procedural processes, however, or it could negatively impact their claims, as discussed in a recent medical malpractice case. If you sustained harm due to incompetent medical care, you may be owed damages, and you should meet with a Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer. 

Case Setting

It is reported that the plaintiff, alleging injury due to the federal government’s veteran’s organization’s neglect of his doctor’s recommendations, filed a suit against the United States and the veteran’s organization. He claimed to suffer from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, for which a non-veteran’s organization doctor had devised a treatment plan that included centralized care at a specialized facility. Despite recommendations from this doctor and the plaintiff’s physical therapists, the veteran’s organization allegedly did not respond, leading to a deterioration in the plaintiff’s condition.

It is alleged that the plaintiff supported his claims with exhibits showing physical symptoms, including a lower temperature in his injured leg, a sore on his injured foot, and atrophication of the injured leg. Previously, the plaintiff had filed a lawsuit in March 2018 for $5 million, which was dismissed due to the Federal Tort Claims Act’s statute of limitations. An appeal upheld this dismissal. In June 2023, the plaintiff initiated the current lawsuit, seeking $50 million in damages for future medical care and complications from delayed treatment. The defendants moved to dismiss the case.

Claims Against the Department of Veterans’ Affairs

The court evaluated the defendants’ motion to dismiss based on a lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. In doing so, it noted that federal courts are limited to hearing cases authorized by the Constitution and statutes.

Thus, the court accepted the plaintiff’s factual allegations as true but needed to ensure jurisdiction over the claim. The court explained that Veterans’ Judicial Review Act (VJRA) governs all decisions by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs regarding benefits, which are final and not subject to judicial review in federal courts. The VJRA provides a specialized review process for veterans’ claims, making the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims the proper avenue for such disputes.

In the subject case, the court found that the plaintiff’s claims pertained to the provision of medical benefits, falling under the VJRA. The plaintiff attempted to frame his claims as medical negligence, but the court determined that his arguments were related to the veteran’s organization’s provision of benefits. As these claims must follow the VJRA process, the court concluded it lacked jurisdiction. Consequently, the court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss and ordered the case dismissed with prejudice.

Consult with a Proficient Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you sustained injuries because of a physician’s error, it is beneficial to consult with a lawyer to evaluate what compensation you could be owed. The proficient Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys at Arfaa Law Group can assess your potential claims and guide you in seeking a just outcome. To set up a consultation, use our online form or call (410) 889-1850.

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