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

Medical malpractice often occurs simultaneously with other wrongs. Thus, a person harmed by incompetent medical care may not only assert medical malpractice claims against their provider but may set forth other claims as well. In many instances, claims accompanying medical malpractice claims arise under federal law and are pursued in federal courts. Federal courts have the right to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over medical malpractice claims and other matters arising under state law. They may opt not to exercise that right in cases in which they dismiss the federal causes of action, though, as shown in a recent New York ruling issued in a medical malpractice case filed in federal court. If you were harmed by incompetent medical care, it is smart to talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your rights.

History of the Case

It is reported that when the plaintiff was confined to a federal facility, he demonstrated and complained of symptoms of obstruction of the bladder and urethra. The medical providers working at the facility failed to heed his complaints, however, disregarding them as drug-seeking efforts. He underwent examination and testing but did not receive any diagnosis or treatment for his symptoms.

Allegedly, following his release, a doctor diagnosed the plaintiff with bladder cancer. As the cancer had metastasized throughout his body, his prognosis was poor. He subsequently filed a lawsuit in the federal district naming the facility and the doctors that provided his care during his confinement as defendants and asserting federal and state law claims. The defendants moved for summary judgment on the federal claims, which the court granted. The court then addressed the issue of the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims.

A Federal Court’s Supplemental Jurisdiction Over State Law Medical Malpractice Claims

The court noted that the plaintiff asserted claims under New York state law, including a medical malpractice claim. It explained that a federal district court has the discretion to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims if it has dismissed the claims out of which its original jurisdiction arose.

Typically, when claims arising out of federal law are removed from a federal case early in proceedings, leaving only state law claims behind, federal courts should decline to exercise jurisdiction over the remaining claims. In the subject case, as the court dismissed the counts over which it had original jurisdiction, it ultimately opted not to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim and other state law claims. As such, it dismissed them with prejudice to allow the plaintiff to refile them in an appropriate court.

Talk to a Dedicated Syracuse Medical Malpractice Attorney

Doctors have an obligation to provide their patients with thorough and competent care, and if they fail to do so, it may not only cause undue harm but may also constitute grounds for pursuing medical malpractice claims. If you were hurt by the negligence of a healthcare provider, it is wise to talk to an attorney about your potential claims as soon as possible. The dedicated Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are proficient at achieving favorable outcomes in medical malpractice cases, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us by calling 833-247-8427 or by using our form online to set up a conference.

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