In New York, a plaintiff who wishes to seek damages in a civil lawsuit may file claims in either state or federal court. Generally, a plaintiff will rely on the advice of an attorney in determining where a case should be filed and what facts and claims should be alleged in the initial pleading. When plaintiffs choose to represent themselves, though, they often lack the knowledge necessary to accurately determine the proper procedure, which can result in a dismissal of their claims regardless of the strength of their evidence. This was demonstrated in a recent case alleging ophthalmology malpractice, in which the court noted the plaintiff had set forth claims that elicited great sympathy but dismissed the plaintiff’s case regardless due to lack of jurisdiction. If you sustained injuries or loss of vision due to the careless acts of an eye doctor, you should engage a diligent ophthalmology malpractice attorney to assist you in your pursuit of damages.
Facts and Procedural History
It is reported that the plaintiff was treated with the defendant eye doctor for complaints of eye pain and vision disturbances. Throughout the course of his care, the plaintiff underwent a surgical procedure and over fifteen hundred laser shots. The plaintiff ultimately suffered a complete loss of vision in one eye and a substantial loss of vision in the other eye, which he alleged was due to harm to his retinas caused by the shots. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant in federal court without the assistance of counsel.
Allegedly, in response to an order from the court, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint. The court reviewed the amended complaint, and upon finding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case, asked the plaintiff to show why the matter should not be dismissed. In the plaintiff’s response, he primarily restated his prior claims. Thus, the court dismissed the case.
Dismissal of a Medical Malpractice Case for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction
The court explained that it had the authority to dismiss a complaint if it determined that the action is frivolous, or if the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the matter. The court went on to explain that a claim will be considered frivolous if the factual allegations are clearly without basis, such as when they are the product of delusions or fantasy, or if the claim is based on a theory that is indisputably meritless.
In the subject case, the court noted that while the plaintiff’s claims were not frivolous, he nonetheless failed to allege any facts that would bring the case within the court’s limited jurisdiction. The court explained that the plaintiff was required under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to set forth a short and plain statement that he was entitled to relief and instead filed a 155-page pleading that was repetitive and placed an unfair burden on the court. The court explained that while the plaintiff was highly sympathetic, he failed to show the court had jurisdiction over the case. Thus, his claims were dismissed.
Speak with a Capable Attorney in Syracuse
Ophthalmologists are entrusted with protecting and maintaining the vision of their patients, but when they fail to perform their duties competently, it can result in vision loss and other harm. If you were injured due to the carelessness of your eye doctor, the capable ophthalmology malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers can assist you in setting forth the facts and evidence needed to provide you with strong arguments in favor of your recovery of damages. We can be reached at 315-479-9000 or via or form online to set up a meeting.