Plaintiffs are afforded many rights in medical malpractice claims, including to a large degree the ability to choose where the matter is filed. The right is not absolute, however, and defendants may seek a change of venue if they feel another location is appropriate or can remove cases to federal courts. Many defendants prefer to have cases heard in federal court, but there are restrictions as to what matters the courts may exercise jurisdiction over, and if a case is improperly removed, it may be remanded, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued in a surgical malpractice case by a District Court sitting in New York. If you were injured by a carelessly performed procedure, it is prudent to meet with a Syracuse surgical malpractice lawyer about your rights.
History of the Case
It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a surgical procedure during which the defendant surgeons implanted a filter into one of her veins. She subsequently suffered complications and filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in state court against the defendant surgeons and the defendant hospital. She also asserted claims against the manufacturer of the filter. The defendants removed the case to the federal district court. The plaintiff then filed a motion to remand the case back to state court, arguing that the federal court lacked jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s claims.
Federal Jurisdiction Over Medical Malpractice Claims
Pursuant to federal law, a defendant in a case brought in state court may remove the matter to the district court in the place the action is pending. District courts have jurisdiction over any civil matter where the amount in dispute exceeds $75,000, and the parties are citizens of different states. If a party removes an action filed in state court to federal court on the basis of diversity of citizenship, and the plaintiff challenges the district court’s jurisdiction as the basis for removal, the removing party bears the burden of providing adequate proof of its right to be heard in a federal forum. Continue reading