COVID-19 NOTICE: We are still working hard for you. We're available by phone, email, mail and/or videoconference. Call for a free consultation or questions at (410) 889-1850. Learn More »

Published on:

Maryland Court Discusses Medical Negligence Claims Against Federally Funded Hospitals

Many medical facilities throughout Maryland are funded by the federal government. A person who suffers harm due to incompetent medical care at a federal facility, therefore, will likely file any medical malpractice claims in federal court naming the federal government as the defendant. Plaintiffs pursuing claims for medical negligence in the federal arena must nonetheless comply with Maryland’s requirements regarding malpractice claims, otherwise they may waive the right to recover damages, as demonstrated in a recent opinion issued by a Maryland court. If you were harmed by inadequate medical treatment in a federal facility, it is in your best interest to speak to a skillful Maryland medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Care

It is reported that the plaintiff sought treatment at a hospital operated by the defendant federal government for a pilonidal cyst. He underwent a procedure to remove the cyst that was performed by the defendant’s physicians, after which he suffered ongoing discomfort and pain. He then filed an administrative claim with the defendant in which he stated his allegations regarding his negligent care. The defendant denied his claim, and he filed a lawsuit against the defendant under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), asserting medical negligence claims.

It is alleged that the defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the court did not have subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiff failed to comply with Maryland’s statutory requirements for pursuing a medical negligence claim. The court agreed and ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint.

Medical Negligence Claims Against Federally Funded Hospitals

The federal government is largely protected from tort liability unless it has specifically waived its immunity to suit. The FTCA is a waiver of sovereign immunity in that it waives the immunity of the federal government for certain acts committed by its employees. The waiver is strictly construed, and any ambiguities are resolved in favor of the federal government.

The court explained that the federal government will only be liable in tort to the same extent and in the same manner as a private person under similar circumstances. As such, where an FTCA claim arises out of negligent health care, a plaintiff must comply with Maryland’s statutory law setting forth the requirements for pursuing medical malpractice claims.

This means, in part, that a plaintiff must submit a claim to the Maryland Health Care Dispute Resolution Office (HCDRO) to undergo arbitration, along with a certificate of a qualified expert stating that the defendant departed from the standard of care and the deviation caused the plaintiff’s harm. As the plaintiff did not file a claim with HCDRO prior to pursuing his lawsuit, the court found he failed to abide by the statutory requirements and dismissed his case.

Meet with a Skillful Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

Inadequately rendered medical care can cause lasting pain and mental trauma, and it is important for people harmed by medical negligence to seek legal counsel to evaluate their rights. The skillful Maryland medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are adept at helping people harmed by careless doctors in the pursuit of damages, and if you hire us, we will gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of a good result. You can contact us at (410) 889-1850 or through the form online to set up a  conference.

Contact Information