In Maryland, dentists are considered healthcare providers, which means, among other things, they can be held liable for medical malpractice. A plaintiff pursuing medical malpractice claims against a dentist must not only offer evidence sufficient to demonstrate liability, but they must also comply with the applicable rules of procedure. If they fail to do so, their claim may be dismissed, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued in a dental malpractice case filed in a Maryland federal court. If you suffered harm due to the carelessness of a dentist, it is wise to confer with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer about what claims you may be able to pursue.
It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered harm due to inadequate dental care that he received while incarcerated. He subsequently filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging the dentist was negligent. He also requested to proceed with the lawsuit without paying the filing fee because of his status. The court granted his in forma pauperis request but decided to dismiss the case based on the grounds that it did not meet the requirements necessary for a successful claim.
Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims Against Dentists Under Maryland Law
The court noted that the plaintiff claimed that the defendant denied his constitutional right to adequate medical care but failed to set forth facts sufficient to support his claim. While the plaintiff alleged negligence on the part of the defendant, the court pointed out that negligence or malpractice is not enough to make a constitutional claim for inadequate medical care.
The court explained that, under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the plaintiff must show that the healthcare provider acted with deliberate indifference to their serious medical needs. Deliberate indifference is defined as more than mere negligence but less than acts or omissions done for the very purpose of causing harm or with the knowledge that harm will result.
Furthermore, the plaintiff was not able to pursue a common law negligence claim in this court. Federal courts can only hear state common law claims if they maintain diversity jurisdiction. Diversity jurisdiction exists when the parties are of diverse citizenship, and the amount in controversy exceeds a certain threshold. The court concluded that the plaintiff and the defendant did not enjoy complete diversity of citizenship, and therefore the common law claim could not be heard in this court. As such, the court dismissed the case without prejudice.
Speak to a Trusted Maryland Attorney
People harmed by medical malpractice have the right to seek compensation, but if they fail to file their claims in the proper court, they may waive the right to recover damages. If you were harmed by the carelessness of a healthcare provider, it is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The trusted Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and resources needed to demonstrate liability in medical malpractice cases, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can reach us via our online form or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.