Maryland Federal Court Discusses Jurisdiction Over Lack of Informed Consent Claims

Typically, medical malpractice claims are pursued in state court. In some cases, however, a defendant may attempt to move a case to federal court with the hopes that they will have a better chance of obtaining a verdict in their favor. The federal courts have limited jurisdiction, however, and can only preside over certain cases. Recently, a Maryland federal district court analyzed whether it had jurisdiction over lack of informed consent claims and other causes of action asserted in a class-action lawsuit relating to the implantation of defective medical devices. If you were injured by a doctor’s failure to advise you of the risks associated with a procedure, you have the right to seek compensation, and it is smart to meet with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to discuss what compensation you may be owed.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is alleged that each of the fourteen plaintiffs underwent surgical fusion of their spines at the defendant medical center. The operations were performed by the defendant doctor, who employed hardware manufactured by the defendant company during the procedure. The plaintiffs asserted that the defendant doctor failed to advise the plaintiffs that the hardware was not cleared or approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prior to implanting it. The plaintiffs subsequently suffered failure of the hardware and had to undergo surgical removal. They filed a class action lawsuit in Maryland state court against the defendants alleging lack of informed consent and other claims. The defendants then removed the case to federal court. The plaintiffs moved to remand the case back to state court.

A Federal Court’s Jurisdiction Over Lack of Informed Consent Claims

The court ultimately granted the plaintiff’s motion. The court explained that a party named as a defendant in a state civil lawsuit can remove the matter to federal court but only if the federal court can exercise jurisdiction over one or more of the claims. The party seeking to remove a case to federal court must establish the federal court’s jurisdiction.

Federal courts have limited jurisdiction and can only hear cases that arise under federal law or disputes between parties that are residents of diverse states where the damages exceed the threshold amount. In the subject case, the defendants asserted that the court had federal question jurisdiction because the claims included allegations that the hardware was not FDA approved. The court declined to adopt this reasoning, noting that all the causes of action sounded in state law. Thus, it remanded the matter back to state court.

Meet with a Capable Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

Most medical procedures carry some degree of risk, and doctors must advise patients of any potential side effects prior to administering treatment; otherwise, they may be liable for harm caused by the patient’s lack of informed consent. If you were harmed by your doctor’s shortcomings, you may be able to pursue medical negligence claims, and it is wise to meet with an attorney regarding your options. The capable Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are adept at proving negligent care providers should be held accountable, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. We can be reached through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.




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