Justia Medical Malpractice Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Solomon v. St. Joseph Hosp.
Plaintiff sued Defendants St. Joseph Hospital and Catholic Health System of Long Island, Inc. for injuries he sustained at St. Joseph Hospital, where he was admitted in March 2020 with COVID-19. Plaintiff brought claims for malpractice, negligence, and gross negligence in New York state court. Defendants removed the case to the New York district court and moved to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Defendants asserted state and federal immunities under the Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act (“EDTPA”) and the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (“PREP Act”). The district court denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss. The Second Circuit vacated the district court’s order and remanded with directions to remand the case to state court. The court concluded that removal to federal court was improper because the district court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. First, Plaintiff’s state-law claims are not completely preempted by the PREP Act. Second, there is no jurisdiction under the federal-officer removal statute because Defendants did not “act under” a federal officer. Finally, Plaintiff’s claims do not “arise under” federal law. View "Solomon v. St. Joseph Hosp." on Justia Law
Razmzan v. United States
After defendant was sued for medical malpractice in state court, he removed the case to federal court and moved to substitute the United States as defendant. Defendant claimed that the alleged malpractice occurred within the scope of his employment at a federally deemed community health center, entitling him to immunity and the substitution of the United States as the defendant under the Federally Supported Health Centers Assistance Act (FSHCAA). The district court concluded that some of the alleged malpractice occurred outside the scope of defendant's employment because he had billed for some of his services privately, in contravention of the Federal Tort Claims Act Health Center Policy Manual. Therefore, the district court concluded that defendant was not covered by the FSHCAA implementing regulation. The district court denied substitution of the United States as to that conduct, remanding the case in part to state court. The government argues that the Second Circuit lacks jurisdiction to entertain this appeal because defendant appealed from an unreviewable remand order.The Second Circuit held that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1447(d), remand orders are unreviewable except in cases that were originally removed under 28 U.S.C. 1442 or 1443. The court concluded that, because defendant removed this case under section 1442, the court is not barred from reviewing the district court's remand order. On the merits, the court concluded that defendant was acting within the scope of his employment under the relevant law—New York law—for the acts for which he billed privately. Therefore, the FTCA Manual is not entitled to deference to the extent that it provides otherwise. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Razmzan v. United States" on Justia Law