A Military Medical Malpractice Provision of the National Defense Authorization Act Allows Active Duty Members to Now File Malpractice Claims.
The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act contains a military medical malpractice provision that grants active duty military members the same right that retired military members, military dependents, and civilians have enjoyed for decades- the right to recover for injuries caused by a physician’s medical negligence.
Historically, active duty military members have been barred from bringing claims against the U.S. government for injuries sustained from medical malpractice at a military facility. The ruling which set this standard, a 1950 U.S. Supreme Court decision known as the Feres doctrine, restricted active duty members from recovering for injuries caused by medical mistakes.
According to the Military Times, Army Sgt. First Class Richard Stayskal provided a huge push for this new military medical malpractice law. Stayskal was diagnosed with progressive lung cancer in July of 2017 by a civilian physician, after a military health care provider failed to diagnose him. Since the passing of the new law, Skayskal has brought a $5 million claim for negligence against the Army physicians who failed to recognize a growing mass in his lung as cancer and instead diagnosed the former Marine and Green Beret with pneumonia. Stayskal now has stage 4 terminal lung cancer.
Our Firm has Extensive Experience in Military Claims
Our firm is one of few in the nation that specializes in military medical malpractice litigation. For decades we have assisted military families, dependents, and military retirees in bringing claims against the U.S. government for medical malpractice occurring at military hospitals, at home and abroad. Now, our experience- which has resulted in the recovery of over $40 million dollars for military families- is enabling us to expand our practice to assist active duty members who are now able to file these same claims.