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New York Court Explains Grounds for Remanding a Medical Malpractice Case to State Court

The majority of medical malpractice cases are pursued at the state court level. Some defendants, though, prefer to litigate claims before federal courts and will move a case filed in state court to a federal district court. Federal courts have limited jurisdiction, though, and if the removal of a medical malpractice case is improper, it will be remanded back to the state level. Recently, a New York court discussed when it is appropriate to remand a medical malpractice case back to state court in a matter in which it granted the plaintiff’s motion. If you were harmed by inadequate medical care, it is in your best interest to have a discussion with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer concerning your options for seeking justice.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the decedent lived in the defendant’s nursing home as a resident. In May 2021, she passed away after contracting COVID-19. The plaintiff then filed a case against the defendant asserting medical and nursing malpractice, wrongful death, and numerous other claims. The basis for the plaintiff’s claims was the defendant’s alleged failure to take necessary precautions during the pandemic, which ultimately led to her mother’s death.

Allegedly, the defendant removed the case to federal court, arguing that such removal was appropriate because the defendant acted at the direction of multiple federal agencies when responding to the pandemic and because federal question jurisdiction existed under the PREP (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness) Act. The defendant subsequently filed a motion to dismiss. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand the matter to state court.

Grounds for Remanding a Medical Malpractice Case to State Court

Generally, a party may move to dismiss a federal case at any time for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. In reviewing a motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds, the court must assume that all of the facts set forth in the complaint are true and must draw any reasonable inference in favor of the plaintiff.

The court explained, though, that where jurisdictional facts are a source of dispute, the court has the power and obligation to determine issues of fact by referencing sources outside of the pleadings, like affidavits. Further, a federal court cannot rule on a matter before first determining if it has jurisdiction.

In the subject case, the court ultimately found that the plaintiff’s claims were not entirely preempted by federal law and that removal was not proper under the Federal Officer statute, despite the defendant’s arguments to the contrary. Thus, it granted the plaintiff’s motion.

Consult an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Many rely on medical professionals to provide their loved ones with around-the-clock care with the expectation that the care will be appropriate, but sadly, such people are often victims of medical negligence. If you lost a loved one due to medical oversights, you may be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice claim, and you should consult an attorney. The experienced Rochester medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can advise you of your potential claims and help you to seek the best legal outcome possible under the facts of your case. You can reach us via our form online or by calling us at 585-653-7343 to set up a meeting.

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