Many hospitals receive federal funding. Thus, if an employee of a federally funded hospital commits medical malpractice, any claims for damages must typically comply with the requirements of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). For example, the plaintiff must set forth the evidence in support of the claim that a federal employee committed malpractice as well as the sum certain that constitutes the plaintiff’s damages. In a recent medical malpractice case filed in a Massachusetts federal court, the court explained what factual information is sufficient to set forth a sum certain as required to proceed with a claim. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to negligent medical care, it is advisable to speak to a diligent Massachusetts personal injury attorney to evaluate what claims you may be able to pursue against your provider.
It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent, who suffered from an irregular heartbeat, was a patient at the defendant hospital, which was federally funded. The doctors employed by the hospital failed to provide the decedent with a proper evaluation, diagnosis, or care, and she ultimately passed away due to her negligent care. The decedent was in her mid-twenties at the time of her death and left behind a young son and her parents, who filed a medical malpractice claim against the defendant pursuant to the FTCA.
Allegedly, the United States was then substituted as the defendant, due to the fact that the defendant hospital was federally funded. The defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, arguing that the plaintiff failed to set forth a sum certain in the administrative claim she filed prior to filing the lawsuit, as required under the FTCA.