Maryland Court Talks Federal Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Claims

Maryland’s federal court typically lacks original jurisdiction over medical malpractice matters. However, the court may exercise supplemental jurisdiction over these claims when they are part of the same case or controversy as claims that do fall within the court’s original jurisdiction. If the claims providing the original jurisdiction are dismissed, though, the federal court will often decline to retain supplemental jurisdiction over the medical malpractice claims, resulting in their dismissal as well. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland medical malpractice case in which the court dismissed both the constitutional and state law claims asserted by the plaintiff. If you were harmed by a doctor employed by the federal government, you should talk to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about what claims you may be able to pursue.

The Factual and Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who was housed in a federal facility, experienced chest pains and was sent to the medical unit. Despite a history of heart problems, the defendant, a nurse, allegedly refused to provide an EKG or any treatment, violating established protocol. The plaintiff submitted an administrative remedy request, leading to an investigation confirming the nurse’s failure to follow protocol. The defendant presented the plaintiff’s medical records, showing a history of chest pain evaluations, consultations with specialists, and a recent visit where his vital signs were normal.

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging that the defendant’s neglectful actions violated his constitutional rights and amounted to medical malpractice. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint via summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff failed to offer sufficient evidence in support of his claims.

Medical Malpractice Claims Pursued in Federal Court

After reviewing the evidence presented, the court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing the plaintiff’s claims. Regarding the plaintiff’s argument that the defendant was neglectful, which he deemed a violation of his constitutional rights, the court noted the necessity for the plaintiff to establish both objective and subjective elements.

Objectively, there must be a serious medical need, and subjectively, the defendant must have been aware of the need but failed to provide or ensure treatment. The court found that the plaintiff did not appear to have a serious medical need during the incident as all vital signs were normal, and the defendant conducted a thorough evaluation. Additionally, the court highlighted that disagreement with medical judgment or a failure to follow internal policies does not necessarily constitute medical malpractice.

As the plaintiff failed to demonstrate medical malpractice and did not show resulting harm, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant, dismissing the plaintiff’s state law claims without prejudice.

Confer with a Seasoned Maryland Attorney

Health care providers are expected to provide patients with adequate care, regardless of the treatment setting, and if they do not, they may be held accountable. If you suffered losses due to negligent care, you should confer with an attorney regarding your potential claims. The seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at Arfaa Law Group can offer you advice and help you seek the best outcome available under the facts of your case. To arrange a consultation, you can contact us through our online form or by calling (410) 889-1850.

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