Filing Medical Malpractice Claims in Federal Court

One question you will hear Maryland medical malpractice lawyers asking each other is: do you need to file in health claims arbitration if the case if you filed in federal court? It is a good question because it is a tough question whether under the Erie Doctrine, Maryland’s health claims arbitration is “substantive” or “procedural.”

While the analysis is tricky, the answer is clear. In Davison v. Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Inc., 462 F. Supp. 778 (1978), the court found that District Court for the District of Maryland held that mandatory arbitration of Maryland medical malpractice lawsuits is a prerequisite to trial.

So if you have a federal medical malpractice case – usually a diversity case in a jurisdiction where you are not excited about the potential jurors – you still need to begin down the Maryland Health Claims Arbitration path.