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Maryland Court Dismisses Medical Malpractice Case as Duplicative

People harmed by the incompetence of medical professionals have the right to seek damages via malpractice lawsuits. The right is not boundless, however, as a person can generally only pursue claims against another party one time, regardless of the merits of the underlying allegations. This rule was explained in a recent Maryland opinion in which the court dismissed a plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawsuit, as it was the fourth case he filed against the defendant. If you were harmed by medical negligence, you might be able to recover compensation from your treatment providers, and it is advisable to confer with a knowledgeable Maryland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Care

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the defendant facility in June 2016 with complaints of pain and numbness in his left leg. He was examined, and as no abnormalities were found, he was discharged with a diagnosis of a muscle sprain. He returned two weeks later with similar complaints and was again evaluated and released. He went back to the defendant facility again nine days later. At that time, his complaints included cold feet. The treating physician did not check his pulse or temperature in his legs but determined the plaintiff’s symptoms were caused by the medication he was taking.

Allegedly, in early July, one month after his initial visit, the plaintiff experienced severe pain in his left leg. Testing revealed he was suffering from blood clots in his leg, and he was transferred to another hospital where his leg was amputated. The plaintiff then filed four different lawsuits against the defendant, alleging medical malpractice claims. The first two cases were dismissed, and the defendant filed an answer in the third case, which was filed in a Maryland state court and moved to dismiss the fourth, which was filed in a federal district court.

The Colorado River Doctrine

Under the Colorado River doctrine, a federal court can refrain from exercising jurisdiction where shrewd judicial administration supports deferring to parallel proceedings filed in state court. For a federal court to find that the Colorado River doctrine should apply, two conditions must be present. First, there must be parallel lawsuits filed in both state and federal courts. Second, there have to be exceptional circumstances. In the subject case, the court found that both factors were satisfied and granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss.

Specifically, the court noted that the actions filed in state and federal court were parallel in that they involved the same parties and were attempting to litigate the same issues. In other words, the federal action was a duplicate of the state action. The court also found that exceptional circumstances were present in that the plaintiff needlessly enlarged proceedings against the defendant by filing four duplicate lawsuits. Thus, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Meet with a Seasoned Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

Inadequate medical care can cause devastating injuries, and healthcare providers that fail to provide competent treatment should be held accountable. If you were hurt by medical negligence, it is advisable to meet with a lawyer to determine your rights. The seasoned Maryland medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can assess the circumstances surrounding your harm and help you to seek any compensation you may be owed. You can contact us through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.

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