Maryland Court Discusses the Procedural Rules that Apply to Medical Malpractice Cases

Maryland law affords people the right to pursue medical malpractice claims without the assistance of an attorney. All parties pursuing such claims must comply with the applicable rules of procedure; however, otherwise, their claims may be dismissed, as illustrated recently in a Maryland case. As such, in most instances, it is beneficial for a person harmed by negligent medical care to seek the assistance of an attorney. If you were harmed by an incompetent healthcare provider, it is prudent to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney to determine what measures you can take to protect your interests.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that when the plaintiff was restrained in a federal facility, a nurse administered medication to him that was meant for another person with the same name. The drug, which was a treatment for hepatitis C, caused the plaintiff to suffer nausea, cramping, and diarrhea. He subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the nurse, seeking compensation for her incompetence and malpractice. He filed a motion seeking permission to proceed in forma pauperis as well.

Procedural Rules Pertaining to Maryland Medical Malpractice Cases

While the court granted the plaintiff’s request to proceed in forma pauperis, it ultimately dismissed his lawsuit. It explained that the federal courts have limited jurisdiction and can only preside over matters posing a federal question or disputes between diverse parties where the amount in controversy meets the jurisdictional threshold.

Pursuant to the prevailing law, a party that wants to proceed in federal court must assert and, if challenged, demonstrate the court’s subject matter jurisdiction over the case. If the court finds that Congress has not authorized the federal judiciary to hear a case, the matter must be dismissed.

In other words, the federal courts will generally presume that an action lies outside of its jurisdiction until and unless the exercise of jurisdiction is shown to be proper. Further, the courts have an obligation to determine whether subject matter jurisdiction exists even if no party makes a jurisdictional challenge.

In the subject case, the plaintiff failed to set forth the grounds for the court’s jurisdiction. Upon examining his claims, the court determined that they did not arise under federal law. Rather, he appeared to be asserting state negligence and medical malpractice claims. As the defendant and the plaintiff were both citizens of Maryland, the court could not exercise subject matter jurisdiction over the case on the basis of diversity of citizenship either. As such, it dismissed the plaintiff’s case without prejudice.

Talk to a Trusted Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

Careless mistakes made by medical professionals often cause lasting harm, and people hurt by such recklessness may be able to recover damages via medical malpractice claims. If you sustained injuries because of the negligence of a healthcare provider, it is wise to talk to an attorney about your rights. The trusted Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group take pride in holding inept doctors and nurses accountable for the losses they cause, and if you hire us, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf. You can contact us through our online form or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.

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