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

It is not uncommon for people harmed by incompetent medical treatment to suffer other injuries at the hands of the parties responsible for their care. As such, they may assert medical malpractice claims along with other causes of action in a single lawsuit, usually in federal court. Federal courts have limited jurisdiction, however. As such, if a plaintiff fails to demonstrate the court’s exercise of jurisdiction over their state law medical malpractice claims is proper, they may be dismissed. This was demonstrated recently in an opinion issued by a New York court. If you sustained losses due to incompetent medical care, you should contact a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to determine what causes of action you may be able to assert against your health care provider.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was admitted to a medical facility where he was administered a pain reliever. He subsequently developed bleeding in the intestinal tract that caused him to die on three occasions. He was revived each time and ultimately underwent life-saving surgery. He developed significant side effects after the surgery, however, including dementia, blurred vision, and mobility issues. He subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the defendants, alleging numerous claims, including medical malpractice. The court then evaluated whether it had jurisdiction over his claims.

Federal Jurisdiction Over State Law Medical Malpractice Claims

The court noted that the plaintiff set forth state medical malpractice claims in his complaint. He failed, however, to assert facts demonstrating that the court had subject matter jurisdiction over such claims. The court explained that, as a federal court, it had limited jurisdiction, as established by 28 U.S.C. 1331 and 1332. Pursuant to those statutes, federal courts can only exercise jurisdiction over matters in which a federal question is presented or where the plaintiff and defendants are citizens of different states, and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

Any party or the court may raise jurisdictional concerns at any stage of proceedings, and if the court determines that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over a case, it must dismiss it. In the subject matter, the court noted that the plaintiff’s complaint failed to allege, to a reasonable degree of probability, that his claims were in excess of the jurisdictional amount. Further, he expressly pleaded that and the defendants were citizens of New York. Thus, the court found that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims and dismissed them without prejudice.

Discuss Your Case with a Capable Syracuse Lawyer

People who suffer injuries at the hands of their health care providers can often pursue medical malpractice claims, but procedural errors may impact their right to recover damages. If you were hurt by the negligence of your physician, it is smart to speak to a lawyer about your possible claims. The capable attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are proficient at navigating the complexities of medical malpractice cases, and if you hire us, we will diligently pursue a favorable outcome on your behalf. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at 833-247-8427 to set up a conference.





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