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New York Court Discusses Medical Malpractice Claims Against the State

Many state-owned and operated facilities house individuals on a short-term or long-term basis. It is not uncommon for people confined in such facilities to require medical care, and if their requests are denied or the care is incompetently rendered, it can cause serious harm. As such, people injured by negligent treatment offered in state facilities may have grounds to pursue medical malpractice claims. They must follow the proper procedure for pursuing such claims, though, as the failure to do so may result in a dismissal, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued by a New York court. If you sustained losses because of the incompetence of a health care provider, it is wise to confer with a trusted Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your avenues for seeking compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is alleged that in June 2019, the plaintiff was being transported to a facility owned and operated by the state when he was attacked by another individual. Immediately after arriving at the facility, the plaintiff requested medical care for the injuries obtained in the assault. His request was declined, however. He subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the state, asserting numerous claims arising out of his attack and subsequent denial of medical treatment, including medical malpractice claims.

Reportedly, the plaintiff was not represented by an attorney. The state moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on the grounds they were barred by the Eleventh Amendment of the United States Constitution. After reviewing the pleadings, the court granted the defendant’s motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims Against the State

The court explained that it is well established that the Eleventh Amendment prohibits citizens from pursuing claims against the state in which they reside in federal court pursuant to the principle of sovereign immunity. Immunity under the Eleventh Amendment is only lost if it a state expressly consents to suit or Congress indisputably abrogates states’ immunity.

Here, the court noted that with respect to the plaintiff’s medical negligence and medical malpractice claims, which sounded in state law and were asserted against the State of New York, prevailing case law held that the Eleventh Amendment bars claims filed in federal courts, not federal causes of action. Based on that reasoning, the court ruled that the plaintiff’s state law claims were barred in federal court. Thus, the court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss.

Discuss Your Harm with a Skillful Syracuse Lawyer

Health care providers have an obligation to treat their patients in accordance with the standard of care, and if the treatment rendered falls below the standard and their patients suffer harm, they can be held accountable. If you sustained damages because of medical malpractice, it is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer about what claims you may be able to pursue. The Syracuse attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are skilled at handling medical malpractice claims, and we can advise you of your options for seeking the full amount of damages recoverable under the law. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 833-200-2000 to set up a consultation.



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