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New York Court Discusses Federal Jurisdiction Over State Medical Malpractice Claims

It is not uncommon for people housed in federal facilities to undergo medical treatment for chronic and acute conditions. Unfortunately, the care they receive often falls below the acceptable standard, and rather than helping them, it harms them instead. In such instances, they have the right to pursue medical malpractice claims against the parties responsible for their harm. While medical malpractice claims are typically brought in state court, they may be filed in federal court if the plaintiff is also asserting claims that arise out of violations of federal statutes.

While federal courts have the right to exercise jurisdiction over state law claims in some circumstances, the plaintiff must show that such jurisdiction is proper, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued in a New York medical malpractice case. If you were injured due to the carelessness of a doctor, it is advisable to meet with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer to discuss whether you may be able to recover compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

Allegedly, when the plaintiff was detained in a federal facility, he sought medical care for an unspecified ailment. He was prescribed a painkiller that he stated caused him to suffer an upset stomach and other symptoms. The doctor nonetheless continued to prescribe him the medication, however. The plaintiff subsequently suffered a gastrointestinal bleed and lost consciousness on three occasions. During one episode, he had to undergo emergency surgery, after which he suffered from vision and mobility issues, migraine headaches, hypertension, and dementia.

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the state hospital system in the federal district court, asserting federal claims as well as state medical malpractice claims. After evaluating the claims, the court issued an order directing the plaintiff to show why his medical malpractice claims should not be dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

Federal Jurisdiction over State Medical Malpractice Claims

The plaintiff ultimately failed to set forth any facts showing that the court had diversity jurisdiction under the applicable federal statute. Instead, the plaintiff asserted that all of his claims arose under the court’s federal question jurisdiction and argued that he demonstrated the court had federal question jurisdiction because he was pursuing claims under federal law.

The court disagreed, noting that neither the complaint nor the plaintiff’s subsequent declaration set forth any facts that suggested the plaintiff had a viable cause of action under any federal statute. As such, the court found the plaintiff failed to establish subject-matter jurisdiction over his state law medical malpractice claims and dismissed them.

Discuss Your Harm with a Dedicated Rochester Medical Malpractice Lawyer

While people injured by inadequate medical treatment have the right to pursue medical malpractice claims, they must do so in the proper court; otherwise, they may waive their right to recover damages. If you were harmed by a careless physician, it is wise to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer regarding your options. The dedicated Rochester medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can assess the circumstances surrounding your losses and advise you of what damages you may be able to recover. You can contact us by calling 833-200-2000 or using our online form to set up a consultation.


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