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New York Court Discusses Federal Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Claims

For various reasons, people may be reluctant to hire attorneys to help them pursue medical malpractice claims. In many instances, though, the decision to proceed pro se can be fatal to their case. This was demonstrated recently when a New York federal court dismissed a plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims on the ground that there was no basis for exercising federal jurisdiction. If you were injured by incompetent medical care, you should speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to assess your options for seeking damages.

The Factual and Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant health care providers pursuant to Section 1983, which establishes causes of action for the deprivation of any privileges, rights, or immunities granted by the United States Constitution and laws. Among other things, he asserted a medical malpractice claim against the defendants. His claims arose out of the assertion that while he was confined to a state facility, he was transported to a hospital for evaluation. The defendant health care providers assessed him and treated him. He was discharged after approximately two months.

Allegedly, two days later, he complained of shortness of breath and was transported to a second hospital, where he was diagnosed with respiratory distress and bilateral pneumonia. He was transferred back to the hospital where the defendants worked, where he remained for another month. The plaintiff’s first complaint was dismissed for failure to state a claim; his second amended complaint was before the court.

Federal Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Claims

Ultimately, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s second amended complaint in its entirety. As to the plaintiff’s allegations of medical malpractice, the court found that the protections provided by the Eighth Amendment did not extend to rectify harms that may have been caused by medical malpractice or negligence but do not rise to the level of conscious disregard of an inmate’s health.

As such, a complaint asserting that a doctor or any other health care provider negligently treated or diagnosed a medical condition does not state a valid claim under the Eighth Amendment. Put another way, medical malpractice does not constitute a violation of constitutional rights merely because the victim is confined. In light of the foregoing and the fact that the plaintiff simply asserted straightforward medical malpractice claims in his complaint, the court dismissed it.

Talk to a Trusted Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

People who suffer harm due to the negligence of their health care providers have the right to seek compensation, but given the complexity of medical malpractice claims, they should not do so without the assistance of a lawyer. If you sustained damages because of a careless doctor, it is advisable to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. The trusted Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are proficient at proving negligent doctors should be held accountable, and if you engage our services, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us by calling 833-200-2000 or by using our form online to set up a conference.

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