Challenge to Law Sealing Med-Mal Decisions Dismissed

The defendant argued that the district court should abstain because the three conditions under the ‘Pullman’ abstention are met. Judge Nancy Torresen granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss without prejudice, finding that ‘Pullman’ abstention is appropriate….law.com, Federal Judge Tosses Personal Injury Firm’s Challenge to Law Sealing MedMal Decisions, Allison Dunn, Feb 2022

 

Gideon Asen asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine to declare Section 2857 of the Maine Health Security Act
relating to confidentiality and admissibility—unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

 

The current mandate requires that every medical malpractice case brought in Maine be screened by a prelitigation screening panel before proceeding to litigation in Superior Court in order to identify meritorious claims of professional negligence.

 

However, all proceedings, including the final determination, are required by law to be kept private and confidential by the panel and the arties to the claim.

 

The law firm argued that this requirement is unconstitutional.

 

The defendant argued that the federal court should not rule on the issue because the three conditions under the Pullman abstention doctrine have been met.

 

Judge Nancy Torresen granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss without prejudice, finding that Pullman abstention is appropriate, as the case involves “difficult constitutional questions that hinge on unsettled state law.”

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