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