In New York, certain medical facilities are owned and operated by the federal government. As such, medical malpractice claims against such entities must typically be brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act (the Act). If a plaintiff fails to abide by the notice requirements imposed by the Act, it may result in a dismissal of their claims. This was demonstrated in a recent New York medical malpractice case filed by a pro se plaintiff. If you were harmed by inadequate medical care received in a federal facility, it is smart to speak to a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer regarding what measures you must take to recover damages.
The Procedural History of the Case
It is reported that the plaintiff was detained at a federal facility. While there, he suffered harm due to negligent medical care. He subsequently filed numerous claims against the defendant government and other parties, including medical negligence. The court subsequently dismissed all of the claims except for medical negligence. The defendant then moved to dismiss the medical negligence claims on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to comply with the notice requirements imposed by the Act. The court granted the motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Filed Under the Act
The defendant argued the plaintiff’s claims were barred due to the plaintiff’s failure to present his claims at the administrative level. The court explained that a notice of claim filed against a government agency pursuant to the Act must provide adequate information to allow the agency to evaluate the claim’s value and conduct an investigation.
As such, a claim must provide written notice that sets forth an estimate of the value of the claim and provides and allows the agency to investigate. The court noted that satisfying this burden is not difficult, but it does require consistency between the facts alleged in the notice of claim and the facts asserted in the complaint. In other words, a plaintiff cannot present one set of facts in the notice and another as the basis of their lawsuit.
The courts, therefore, had routinely dismissed claims in which the plaintiffs averred one claim before the administrative body and then pursued different claims in the courts. In the subject case, the court found that the facts set forth in the plaintiff’s notice of claim did not include any allegations of incompetent medical care. Thus, they failed to put the defendant on notice of the claim, and the plaintiff’s medical negligence claims were dismissed.
Speak to an Experienced Rochester Attorney
Medical malpractice claims involving the federal government are often complex, and in some instances, a plaintiff will be subject to notice requirements not applicable to other claims. If you suffered harm due to negligent medical care you received at a federal institution, it is wise to speak to an attorney about your options for seeking damages. The experienced Rochester attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers take pride in helping people harmed by medical malpractice in the pursuit of justice, and if you hire us, we will set forth compelling arguments on your behalf. You can reach us via our online form or at 585-653-7343 to set up a meeting.