United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
COVID-19 – Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act
Solomon v. St. Joseph Hospital
Judges Livingston, Cabranes, and Park
Background: The plaintiff sued the defendants for injuries sustained at the hospital, where he was admitted in March 2020 with COVID-19. He argues malpractice, negligence, and gross negligence in New York state court, but the defendant removed the case to the district court and then moved to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The defendants argued certain state and federal immunities under the Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act and the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. Their motion was denied.
Ruling: The Second Circuit vacated and remanded. The court concluded that removal to federal court was improper because the district court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. The court noted that the state-law claims are not completely preempted by the PREP Act. Also, there is no jurisdiction under the federal officer removal statue because the defendants did not act under a federal officer. Finally, the plaintiff’s claims did not arise under a federal law.
Megan A. Lawless, Dylan Braverman, and Charles K. Faillace, of Vigorito, Barker, Patterson, Nichols & Porter, for the defendants-appellants.