Maryland Court Discusses Pursuing Damages Under the Federal Tort Claims Act

It is not uncommon for people treated in federal facilities to suffer harm due to incompetent medical care. While people injured by the medical negligence of federal employees have the right to pursue damages, they generally must comply with the rules set forth under the Federal Tort Claims Act (the FTCA) and any other applicable laws; otherwise, their claims may be dismissed. This was explained in a recent ruling in which a Maryland court illustrated the pre-requisites for pursuing medical malpractice claims in federal court. If you suffered damages due to the carelessness of your treatment provider, it is advisable to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your options for pursuing compensation.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, who lived in a federal facility, fell from his bed and injured his leg. He visited the medical department, where he was examined and underwent an x-ray. He was informed that his x-ray did not indicate any injuries to his leg and knee and was directed to exercise. A month later, he returned to the medical center as his pain had increased to the point where he could no longer walk but was merely diagnosed with a muscle strain.

Allegedly, an additional x-ray taken approximately nine months after his fall indicated he suffered from avascular necrosis in his right hip and would need to undergo a hip replacement. He then filed a lawsuit against his treatment providers and the federal government, asserting, among other things, medical malpractice claims under the FTCA. The defendants moved to dismiss the claims, arguing that the plaintiff failed to comply with the proper procedure for pursuing such claims.

Pursuing Damages Under the Federal Tort Claims Act

In sum, the court rejected the defendants’ argument and found in favor of the plaintiff. The defendants argued that the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims should be dismissed because he failed to comply with the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Act. The court explained that this reasoning was flawed, as the Fourth Circuit held that state pre-suit certificate requirements do not govern actions in federal court, as they conflict with and are therefore superseded by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. As such, the court held that the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Act, which imposes a pre-suit certification, does not serve as a basis for dismissing claims arising under the FTCA. As such, the court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss.

Speak to an Experienced Maryland Attorney

Regardless of whether physicians work for public or private employers, they have an obligation to provide competent care, and when they do not, they should be held accountable. If you sustained losses because of inadequate medical treatment, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are adept at handling the complexities of claims against negligent health care providers, and if you hire us, we can advise you of your rights and aid you in seeking the full amount of damages recoverable under the law. You can reach us through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.






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