Medical malpractice claims are generally more complex than other matters, and those asserted against employees of the federal government are especially complicated. Thus, plaintiffs pursuing medical negligence cases against federally employed defendants must take special care to follow proper procedures; otherwise, their claims may be terminated. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling, in which a pro se plaintiff’s claims against a doctor were dismissed due to his failure to abide by state and federal law in filing his lawsuit. If you were injured by the incompetence of a health care provider, it is advisable to meet with a practiced Maryland medical malpractice attorney to assess your rights.
The Plaintiff’s Claims
It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was in a federal facility, received inadequate medical care from the defendant doctors who worked at the facility despite his repeated requests. He filed numerous claims against the defendants in a federal lawsuit, including medical malpractice claims. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, a motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff sought and received an extension but ultimately failed to file a response to the motion. The court, upon reviewing the pleadings, found in favor of the defendants and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.
Medical Malpractice Claims Against Agents of the Federal Government
The court explained that, with regards to suits against the federal government, the United States is protected from liability via the doctrine of sovereign immunity, except where it has explicitly waived its immunity to suit. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) expressly waives the sovereign immunity of the United States for specific torts committed by its employees.
Under the FTCA, a plaintiff cannot institute tort claims against the United States unless the claims have been presented to the appropriate federal agency and denied in writing. In the subject case, the court noted that there were no allegations in the plaintiff’s complaint that he complied with the proper procedure.
Further, the court noted that when a plaintiff’s FTCA claims arise out of deficient medical care, a Maryland plaintiff must also comply with the requirements of the state Health Care Malpractice Claims Act, which sets forth the procedure for pursuing medical malpractice claims. In part, it requires plaintiffs to file a certificate of qualified expert along with the claim, and a case that is filed without a certificate should be dismissed. The court noted that this rule applies in cases filed against federally employed doctors as well. Thus, as the plaintiff failed to file a certificate, the court granted the defendant’s motion.
Speak with a Capable Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical negligence can cause significant and lasting harm, but even if a doctor is clearly liable, an injured party may be denied recovery for failing to comply with the proper procedure for filing claims. If you were hurt by an incompetent doctor, it is in your best interest to seek the assistance of an attorney as soon as possible. The capable Maryland medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group have ample experience helping people harmed by careless physicians in the pursuit of justice, and we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.