Medical Mistake Leads to Terminal Cancer Diagnosis for Green Beret
The story of Sgt. 1st Class Rich Stayskal, as published on January 14, 2019 in Stars and Stripes, an independent news source to the U.S. military community, is tough to get through. Stayskal is a former Marine who later became a Green Beret but is now battling a terminal stage IV metastatic lung cancer. The husband and father of two says his military doctors missed a diagnosis opportunity that could have saved his life in 2017 when he first presented symptoms and a scan showed the illness.
But unlike similar malpractice claims patients can bring against the private medical community, Stayskal can’t do much because of a military rule known as the Feres doctrine. Feres prohibits military servicemembers from suing the government and is a rule that can only be changed via an act of Congress or a ruling by the Supreme Court. The rule, which has been upheld for more than 68 years, was meant to maintain a “no-fault” compensation system in the military where combat-related deaths and injuries are possible.
U.S. Servicemen and Women, and Veterans Deserve Better
Servicemen and women like Stayskal make the choice to risk their lives for our country each day. These heroes trust the military and its medical professionals to do right by caring for their health and protecting their safety. Yet our system, including the Feres doctrine, are failing them at their most critical times in life. Levin & Perconti attorneys are trying to do all we can to support servicemen and women. For example, attorney’s Michael Bonamarte, Margaret Battersby Black and Cari Silverman recently brought a suit on behalf of the family of a two-tour Vietnam veteran, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The man died after nurses and paramedics failed to keep him safe in an ambulance transfer from St. James-Olympia Fields hospital to the Edward Hines Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital for psychiatric treatment. In December of 2018, a Cook County Circuit Court jury awarded $7 million to the veteran’s family for the sustained fatal injuries caused by the deadly ride.
Other tragic stories of members of the U.S. military (veterans especially) not receiving the necessary care they deserve are shared each day. The lingering misdiagnoses and poorly managed illnesses of residents with Legionnaires’ disease which claimed the lives of more than a dozen residents of a state-run veterans home in Quincy since 2015 still haunts many. It is unfortunate and distressing when the beloved members of our community are neglected and made to be ill, especially in instances where it could be entirely preventable with proper diligence and safety.
Justice for America’s Heroes
If you believe that your loved one has suffered an injury or wrongful death due to a negligent failure in care or well-being, they may be entitled to compensation and we are here to help you navigate the situation. Call us now at (312) 332-2872 or complete our online case evaluation form for a free consultation with one of our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys.
All consultations are free, and we work on a contingent fee basis so there are no fees for our services unless we successfully resolve your case.