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Personal Injury Law (Accidents/Slip & Fall)/What state do I file a Medical Malpractice lawsuit in, if I live in a different state than the doctors/hospital I'm filing against?


QUESTION: In which state am I supposed to file a law suit (for medical malpractice), if the doctors/hospital involved were located in Georgia, and I lived in North Carolina at the time? (So, in essence, I need to know if I should pursue an attorney in North Carolina or in Georgia, or if it doesn't matter.) What if I end up moving to South Carolina soon, would that affect where I have to file it? An attorney told me that if the plaintiff and defendant are located in two different states, it is taken to federal court and therefore doesn't matter what state. But where are federal courts located, in case I want to find an attorney near a federal court (so he won't reject my case because its too far for him to travel to the federal court)?  I may also pursue product liability, which is located in I believe New Hampshire....would that go to a federal court, and if so does that mean I can hire an attorney from any state also?

ANSWER: What that "attorney" told you is incorrect and I think you may have misunderstood.  Generally speaking, you must sue where the negligence or malpractice occured or where the defendant resides or does business.  If the alleged malpractice happened in Georgia, that is where you must sue.  An exception might be if the hospital is a defendant and it is part of a big national hospital corporation in which case you might be able to sue where the corporation is headquartered or has other facitilities.  This about it. Let's say I get sick on vacation in New York and suffer injury from medical malpractice there.  I then return home to California.  Obviously the doctor in NY should not be required to defend himself in California.  What if I was from Alaska, or Japan or wherever.  Where the negligence happened or where the defendant is located, is the rule.  Now is cases where there is a "diversity of jurisdction", the case might be sent to Federal Court but you shouldn't bother with trying to learn all of t hose rules.

In regards to defective products, let's say you bought a product in N. Carolina but the company that made the product is in Gerogia.  You might sue in NC saying that is where the injury occured but the company would then ask the court to send the case to the Federal Court in that District based on diversity of jurisdction.

Anyhow, I think your time and mine trying to help would best be spent by you telling me what the malpractice was and what the product was.  If it was a medical product and you think the doctor or hospital giving you that product were negligent, I can give you valuable advice.  Just ask.  No cost.  I mean before you worry about all these jurisdcitional issues, let's see if you actually have a workable case.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I would love to get your advice further, I didn't specify the details because its extensive.

But have I offended you?  

I got a follow up response from you saying,
"You are quite welcome. I have been glad to help.  Good luck you stupid a hole"
Is that correct, from you, or have I misunderstood?

I apologize that I have not already rated/thanked you, but I'm coordinating my disabled mother's healthcare, and she lives two hours away from me.

Sorry for the confusion. There must have been a mix-up somewhere.  So go ahead and give me some details as to what you think the medical malpractice was, was the damage was, and what product you are referring to.  You can write directly to

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Glenn A. Dorfman


Thirty-two years experience in personal injury, medical malpractice, medical product liability law and class actions. Qualified to answer all questions regarding injuries and the law, except for worker`s compensation. Actively involved and fully experienced in litigation regarding recalled hip implants as well as the Mirena IUD.


Hundreds of satisfied clients in previous litigation

California State Bar Association in good standing since 1976. Federal District Court

Jurisx Doctor degree 1976

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