The opinion of the court was delivered by: I. LEO GLASSER, Senior District Judge
Defendants Brownsville Community Development Corporation and Sandra
Gumbs, R.P.A. ("Brownsville," "Gumbs" or "Defendants") bring this motion
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure seeking
dismissal of Plaintiff Antoinette Hutchinson's ("Plaintiff or
"Hutchinson") claims asserted in her Amended Complaint concerning
Defendants' conduct prior to October 1, 1996. Defendants argue that this
Court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state
law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367 because "exceptional circumstances"
present "compelling reasons for declining jurisdiction" and
alternatively, because the claims in the Amended Complaint asserting
Defendants' liability for their conduct between October 7, 1994 and May
22, 1996 are improperly pleaded and barred by the applicable statutes
For the reasons that follow, Defendants' motion is denied.
For the purposes of this motion to dismiss, the following factual
allegations drawn from Plaintiffs Amended Complaint are considered true.
From October 7, 1994 through May 12, 1999, Freda Lewis ("Lewis" or
"decedent") sought and received professional care for "certain medical
conditions and complaints from which she suffered, including
gynecological complaints," from a Brooklyn clinic operated and managed by
Brownsville known as the Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center,
and the clinic's employees, including Gumbs and Fannel Alerte, M.D.
("Alerte"). Also during the time period of October 7, 1994 to May 12,
1999, Lewis received medical care from Defendant St. Mary's Hospital of
Brooklyn ("St. Mary's"), and its employee, Defendant Ann Marie
Ledley-Lewis, D.O. ("Ledley-Lewis"). From May 23, 1996 to May 12, 1999,
decedent received medical care from Defendant Jacques Duperval, M.D.
("Duperval"), who is also an employee of St. Mary's.
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint alleges that:
The care and services provided by all of
the defendants were not rendered in accordance
with accepted standards of medical care in the
community. As a result, decedent's condition of
ovarian cancer went undiagnosed, was permitted to
worsen and metastacize, and ultimately caused her
Brownsville and St. Mary's hired and
supervised medical personnel who did not possess
the requisite knowledge and skill of medical
professionals in the community;
Defendants failed to inform decedent and/or
her representative of the risks and
hazards of, and alternatives to, the treatments
proposed and rendered, which resulted in
Defendants' failure to obtain decedent's informed
consent to treatment, that a reasonably prudent
person would not have undergone the treatment
rendered if she had been fully aware of the risks
and hazards involved, and that this lack of
informed consent was the proximate cause of
decedent's injuries and death; and
Plaintiff and other distributees of
decedent's estate have suffered damages as
result of Lewis's death.
On December 23, 1998, Freda Lewis filed an action for medical
malpractice in the Supreme Court of New York, Kings County, against
Brownsville, Gumbs, Alerte, St. Mary's, Duperval, Ledley-Lewis, and two
other St. Mary's employees, Chien-Jen Huang, M.D. ("Huang") and Dr.
Jenkins ("Lewis Complaint").*fn1
During the course of the litigation,
Lewis learned that the Brownsville clinic became a federally-funded
institution beginning October 1, 1996. Pursuant to the Federal Tort
Claims Act (FTCA), any lawsuits against Brownsville concerning its
conduct on or after that day may be pursued only in a United States
District Court. On or about December 13, 1999, the United States filed a
notice of removal in this Court, and was substituted as a party defendant
for Brownsville and its employees with respect to any liability for
events occurring on or after October 1, 1996.
In the meantime, Lewis died on May 12, 1999. Plaintiff, who is
decedent's daughter, became administratrix of decedent's estate upon
issuance of Letters of Administration by the Surrogate of Kings County,
New York on February 7, 2000. Despite Lewis's death, Plaintiff was
not substituted as a party in the state action before it was
removed to this Court in December 1999.
On or about June 29, 2000, the federal causes of action against the
United States were dismissed without prejudice by this Court because
Plaintiff failed to comply with the FTCA prerequisites for bringing an
action. In addition to dismissing the federal causes of action, this
Court remanded to Supreme Court, Kings County, the state claims against
Brownsville, Gumbs and Alerte involving conduct prior to October 1, 1996
and the entirety of the claims against St. Mary's, Duperval, Huang, and
Jenkins. Plaintiff thereafter complied with the FTCA requirements and
filed a new complaint in this Court on February 28, 2001 against
Brownsville, Gumbs and Alerte sounding in negligence, medical malpractice
and wrongful death as a result of their conduct from May 23, 1996 to May
On March 6, 2001, Plaintiff filed a second complaint in the Supreme
Court, Kings County, that largely mirrored the Lewis Complaint but also
included a cause of action for wrongful death. The complaint alleged that
the relevant conduct extended over a period of time from May 23, 1996 to
May 12, 1999. The two state court actions were consolidated in March
2001, are currently viable and remain on that court's trial calendar.
On July 22, 2003, Plaintiff amended the complaint filed in this Court
asserting that this Court should exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
the state court claims and defendants. The Amended Complaint also alters
Plaintiff's claims by expanding the dates of Defendants' alleged wrongful
conduct to include October 7, 1994 to May 22, 1996.