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New York Court Discusses the Pursuit of Medical Malpractice Claims Against Federally Funded Facilities

Many hospitals and medical facilities in New York receive federal funding. If a patient suffers harm due to incompetent care received in such a facility, they can seek damages via medical malpractice claims, but they are bound by a different set of procedural requirements than those pertaining to claims against private facilities. The courts strictly construe such requirements, and if they find that a plaintiff failed to comply with them, they will most likely dismiss their claims, as demonstrated in a recent New York opinion. If you were hurt by the negligence of a medical professional, you could be owed damages, and it is smart to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that between June 2016 and January 2017, the plaintiff received medical treatment from the defendants, including assessments, examinations, and surgery. The plaintiff asserted that because of the defendant’s negligence and failure to obtain her informed consent, she suffered personal injuries. As such, she filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants in state court.

Allegedly, the defendants removed the action to the federal district court pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) on the grounds that the defendants worked in a federally funded facility and were, therefore, employees of the United States and acting in the scope of their employment when they treated the plaintiff. They then moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case.

Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims Against Federally Funded Facilities

The court agreed with the defendants’ reasoning and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. Specifically, the court explained that as a condition of the United States waiver of sovereign immunity, the FTCA required tort claimants to exhaust their administrative remedies prior to pursuing actions in federal court. The court elaborated that in order to seek damages under the FTCA, parties must comply with the prerequisites, which are strictly construed.

The exhaustion requirement under the FTCA is jurisdictional and cannot be waived. In the subject case, the court found that there was no indication that the plaintiff filed an administrative claim with the appropriate agency. As such, the court found that her claims must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Thus, the court granted the defendant’s motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Talk to a Dedicated Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

People injured by incompetent medical professionals can seek compensation for their losses, but if they do not abide by the applicable procedural rules, they may waive their right to recover damages. If you suffered injuries due to a doctor’s negligence, you should meet with an attorney to discuss your potential claims.  The dedicated Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can assess the circumstances surrounding your harm and help you to seek the best legal outcome available under the facts of your case. 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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