Maryland Court Explains Supplemental Jurisdiction Over State Medical Malpractice Claims

People housed in federal facilities are unfortunately often subject to extreme indifference at the hands of the medical professionals who work in such facilities. Further, they are frequently victims of medical malpractice. As such, it is not uncommon for them to assert medical malpractice and a variety of other claims against the negligent party in one complaint. While medical malpractice claims typically arise under state law, federal courts can adjudicate them alongside other claims in certain situations. If the other claims are dismissed, however, it is not uncommon for the court to dismiss the medical malpractice claims as well, regardless of whether they have merit. This was demonstrated recently in a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. If you suffered harm because of the negligence of a health care provider, you could be owed compensation, and you should contact a trusted Maryland medical malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the plaintiff was housed in a federal facility. While there, he suffered harm in two separate incidents involving health care providers. In the first incident, he was given medication that caused him to suffer an allergic reaction, which he was advised was a common side effect after the fact. In the second incident, he was exposed to COVID-19. He subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendants, setting forth multiple claims, including medical malpractice. The defendants then moved to dismiss the case in its entirety.

Supplemental Jurisdiction Over State Medical Malpractice Claims

Much of the court’s opinion focused on issues other than the alleged medical malpractice. To the extent the plaintiff asserted medical malpractice claims, however, the court specifically declined to exercise additional jurisdiction over them. According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a district court may decline to exercise additional jurisdiction over a state law claim if it has already dismissed all connected claims over which it held original jurisdiction.

If a court dismisses a plaintiff’s federal claims at an early stage of proceedings, as it did in the subject matter, courts are more prone to dismiss a plaintiff’s state law claims without prejudice than to retain supplemental jurisdiction over them. Based on the foregoing, the court decided not to exercise additional jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims. Instead, it dismissed them together with his federal claims. The court did not discuss the merit of the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims, however. Further, it dismissed said claims without prejudice, so that the plaintiff was free to pursue them in state court if he wanted to.

Speak to a Seasoned Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

Patients typically anticipate that their doctors will improve their health, but in some instances, medical intervention or a lack thereof can cause a patient to suffer grave harm. If you were injured by medical negligence, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney to assess your potential claims. The seasoned Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group possess the skill and resources needed to hold negligent care providers accountable, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can reach us via our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.


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