Maryland Court Discusses Pursuing a Federal Medical Malpractice Claim

The law does not require people pursuing medical malpractice claims to be represented by an attorney. In most instances, though, it is prudent for people harmed by incompetent medical care to seek legal counsel, otherwise, they may unintentionally waive their right to recover damages by making procedural errors. This was illustrated in a recent Maryland case in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint for failing to meet the federal pleading standards. If you sustained losses because of deficient medical care, it is in your best interest to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer about your options for seeking justice.

Case History

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice complaint pro se, and submitted an application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The plaintiff appeared to allege personal injury at the defendant’s nursing facility, medical malpractice at a hospital in Chicago, and the termination of her worker’s compensation benefits by the state of Illinois.

Allegedly, the complaint also mentioned legal malpractice without clear connections to the named defendants. The allegations further deteriorated, with the plaintiff asserting that a “microchip” had been implanted inside her, unnamed individuals were plotting her murder, and she had been targeted for other reasons. The court reviewed her complaint to determine if it met the pleading requirements established by federal law.

Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Federal Court

The court’s analysis revolved around the inadequacies in the plaintiff’s complaint and her failure to meet the requirements set by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The court noted that all litigants, including those proceeding pro se like the plaintiff, are expected to adhere to these rules.

Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure necessitates that complaints provide a concise statement of the court’s jurisdiction and a clear statement of the claim supporting entitlement to relief.

In the subject case, the court found that the plaintiff’s complaint was a disorganized amalgamation of claims and merely set forth bold conclusions and personal comments, As such, it did not fulfill the Rule 8 requirements.

The court further noted that the subject matter jurisdiction of federal district courts is limited, only permitting federal jurisdiction when a “federal question” is raised or when there is diversity of citizenship, and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, and neither of these conditions were met in this case.

Despite the diversity of citizenship between the plaintiff and defendants, there was no discernible connection to the forum jurisdiction, and no federal question was presented. Therefore, the court dismissed the case without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction.

Consult an Experienced Maryland Attorney

People harmed by medical malpractice have the right to pursue damages from the parties responsible for their harm, but they must comply with any applicable rules in order to proceed. If you suffered harm due to incompetent medical care, the experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at Arfaa Law Group can assist you in seeking any damages you may be owed. To set up a conference, you can contact us through our online form or by calling (410) 889-1850.

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