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New York Court Discusses Federal Court Jurisdiction Over State Law Medical Malpractice Claims

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many people, including those living in federal facilities, to suffer irreparable harm. In some instances, such harm was brought about or exacerbated by the failures of medical professionals. While people harmed by the negligent rendering of care in a federal facility have the right to pursue compensation for their losses, they must make sure that their claims are properly pleaded and pursued in the appropriate forum otherwise, as illustrated in a recent New York ruling issued in a medical malpractice case, they may be dismissed. If you were injured by the carelessness of a healthcare provider, you might be owed damages, and you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was confined to a facility owned and operated by the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiff, who suffers from several chronic health conditions, alleged that the medical professionals that worked at the facility failed to take the measures necessary to protect him from pandemic-related health risks. Thus, he filed a lawsuit against the federal government, asserting claims of deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights and medical malpractice. The federal government then moved to dismiss his claims.

Federal Court Jurisdiction Over State Law Medical Malpractice Claims

The court first assessed the plaintiff’s claims that the defendant violated his Eighth Amendment rights via its employees’ deliberate indifference to his critical medical needs, finding that the allegedly harmful actions failed to rise to the level necessary to meet the elements of his claim. As such, it granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss as to those claims.

As the court concluded that the Plaintiff’s constitutional claims were inadequate, only his state law claims for medical malpractice and negligence remained. The court explained that while federal courts are not required to dismiss state law claims after the federal claims in a case are dismissed, they can nonetheless decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over such claims pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

In the subject case, the court assessed the factors that were relevant to the determination of whether it should exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s state law claims, namely the values of fairness, convenience, comity, and judicial economy, in light of the dismissal of the plaintiff’s federal claims. It ultimately found that the factors weighed in favor of it declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. Thus, it dismissed the plaintiff’s case.

Talk to an Assertive Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Regardless of what setting medical treatment occurs in, it should help, rather than harm, the patient. If you suffered damages due to incompetent medical care, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. The assertive Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are well-versed in what it takes to establish that negligent healthcare providers should be held accountable for the losses they cause, and if you hire us, we will diligently pursue a favorable outcome on your behalf. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a conference.

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