Maryland Court Discusses Medical Malpractice Claims Under the Federal Tort Claims Act

Many people in Maryland receive medical care in federally funded facilities. If the care they receive is inadequate, and they suffer harm as a result, they have the right to seek damages via medical malpractice claims. Such claims must be pleaded carefully, however, as pleading errors can result in the dismissal of a plaintiff’s case, as illustrated in a recent opinion issued by a Maryland court. If you suffered harm because of negligent health care, you should speak to a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer about your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a complaint alleging medical malpractice and negligence claims against the United States of America and numerous individual defendants pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (the Act). The claims alleged that the individually named defendants failed to provide the defendant with adequate medical care following surgery to repair dislocated and fractured bones in his left hand, causing his injury to worsen when he was housed in a federal facility. The defendants moved, inter alia, to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims against the individually named defendants on the grounds that they were barred by the Act.

Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims Under the Federal Tort Claims Act

The court granted the defendants’ motion to the extent that it sought dismissal of the claims against the individual defendants. In its opinion, the court explained that the Act must be narrowly construed. Thus, pursuant to the Act, any claim alleging harm caused by the negligence of federal employees may not be brought against individual employees of the federal government who were acting within the scope of their employment when the allegedly harmful conduct occurred.

In the subject case, the United States District Attorney for the District of Maryland certified to the court that the individuals named as defendants were all federal employees and were acting within the scope of their employment at the time the allegedly negligent acts occurred. As such, the court found that the plaintiff’s claims of medical malpractice and negligence against the individual defendants must be dismissed and granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment in that regard. Regarding the defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to the claims against the United States, the court found it to be premature, as factual disputes remained as to whether a federal employee’s negligence caused his harm. Thus, the motion was denied as to those claims.

Confer with an Assertive Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

While people have the right to pursue medical malpractice claims without the assistance of an attorney, they typically should avoid doing so, as pleading errors and oversights may impair their right to recover damages. If you were harmed by incompetent medical treatment, it is smart to confer with a lawyer about your options for seeking compensation. The assertive Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law can assess the facts surrounding your injuries and assist you in gathering any evidence in your favor. You can reach us by calling us at (410) 889-1850 or using our form online to set up a meeting.

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