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Medical malpractice cases filed in federal court are often subject to levels of review not present at the state level. For example, if a party files a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment, the motion may be referred to a magistrate judge, who will make a recommendation to the court regarding whether to grant or deny the motion. While a magistrate’s recommendation is not binding, they are often adopted by the courts. Parties have the opportunity to object to such recommendations, however, if they are unfavorable. Recently, the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York discussed the standard of review employed when evaluating objections to magistrate recommendations in a case in which it ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims. If you sustained damages due to incompetent medical care, it is smart to meet with a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney to determine your possible claims.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff, who lived in a facility operated by the federal government, sought treatment for symptoms affecting his eye. He visited a doctor who worked for the facility and underwent an examination. The doctor then prescribed the plaintiff medication. The drug caused severe harm to the plaintiff’s eye.

It is alleged that the doctor also failed to treat the plaintiff’s subsequent harm in a timely manner. Thus, he filed a lawsuit against the federal government, alleging the doctor’s failure to warn the plaintiff of the potential risks associated with the medication and the failure to provide prompt treatment for his resulting harm constituted medical malpractice. Following discovery, the government moved for summary judgment. The motion was reviewed by a magistrate judge, who issued a report and recommendation that the court grant the motion. The plaintiff then objected. Continue reading

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In many instances, parties that suffer harm due to medical negligence will sustain other damages as well, such as losses caused by violations of their civil rights. Thus, they will often choose to pursue claims for damages in federal court. While federal courts can exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims in certain circumstances, if the basis for such jurisdiction is removed, the courts will typically decline to exercise jurisdiction over such claims. This was demonstrated in a ruling recently issued in a New York case in a matter arising out of physical therapy malpractice. If you sustained injuries due to the negligence of a physical therapist, it is smart to speak to a skillful Syracuse physical therapy malpractice lawyer regarding your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff, who is a paraplegic, underwent a physical therapy session with the defendant. During the session, the defendant placed a hot pack on the plaintiff’s lower back and advised him to leave it there. The plaintiff subsequently suffered second-degree burns, which he alleged caused emotional trauma and mental distress in addition to physical pain. He filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting medical malpractice claims as well as claims arising under federal law. The defendant moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed in their entirety. The court ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Supplemental Jurisdiction Over State Law Claims Filed in Federal Court

The court concluded that the plaintiff failed to assert viable federal claims. Thus, it dismissed the counts in his complaint that arose under federal law. The court also declined to exercise jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim, which arose under state law, unless the plaintiff was able to amend his complaint to assert a viable federal claim. Continue reading

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In New York, medical malpractice cases differ from other civil claims in multiple ways. For example, there are numerous additional pleading and evidentiary requirements imposed on plaintiffs that they must meet in order to pursue damages. If plaintiffs fail to abide by the statutory obligations, it may adversely affect their claims. For example, in a recent New York nursing malpractice case, the court discussed the implications of the failure to include a certificate of merit with an initial pleading. If you suffered harm due to the negligence of a nurse, it is prudent to consult a Syracuse nursing malpractice lawyer to discuss what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent presented to the county courthouse in response to a warrant. As part of a routine screening, the decedent reported that he had consumed numerous illicit and prescription drugs prior to arriving at the courthouse, and during his hearing, a drug treatment coordinator advised she was concerned for his safety and he needed immediate medical care. Regardless, the judge ordered him to confinement in the county jail.

Allegedly, the defendant nurses were both working at the county jail that day and observed the decedent, who was having difficulty standing, speaking, and walking. At one point, the plaintiff spoke with one of the nurses and stated she was concerned the decedent would die if he did not receive prompt care, and the defendant nurse stated the decedent was fine. The decedent passed away to form an accidental drug overdose, and the plaintiff filed numerous claims, including medical malpractice claims against the defendants. The defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, arguing she failed to comply with the required procedure. Continue reading

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