Government Is Ready to Process Military Malpractice Claims
Since 1950, U.S. Military members have been barred from suing the U.S. government for injury or death resulting from their military duties, including all claims of malpractice, under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Feres doctrine. But after Army Sgt. First Class Richard Stayskal led a fight to file a $5 million claim for negligence by his Army physicians, a new law is in place that allows active-duty personnel to seek compensation for harm caused by a military health provider.
A bill dubbed the SFC Richard Stayskal Medical Accountability Act led lawmakers to include these changes in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act on December 20, 2019. The Act now allows troops (or their surviving family members) to file claims for personal injury or death caused by negligence or wrongful acts by a Department of Defense employed health care provider in a military hospital or clinic.
Pentagon Will Be Evaluating Each Case
While military members still can’t file medical malpractice lawsuits in court, they can request the help of an attorney to pursue malpractice claims through a Pentagon review process. A Pentagon spokeswoman announced in January 2020 that the department is ready to receive claims for processing when the procedures for reviewing are established.
- The new law designates $400 million to the Pentagon to investigate claims and award compensation.
- It gives victims two years after the malpractice incident to file a claim, with the exception of this year.
- Those filing a claim in 2020 can seek redress for incidents dating to 2017.
- A substantiated claim under $100,000 will be paid directly to the service member or a surviving beneficiary by the Department of Defense.
American heroes deserve their day to see justice served, but this new process could be frustrating and tiresome for someone battling an ongoing injury and the related distress an illness has caused. Besides, the DOD has little institutional experience handling medical malpractice claims, and it is unknown exactly how defense leaders will implement Congress’ directive. Hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help navigate your path through all of the challenges that could take place.
Levin & Perconti attorneys work as a team. They can prepare your claim by obtaining and evaluating records and medical documents and evidence for you, including physician notes and informal reports that may have been withheld. Our medical experts can detail and investigate the accounts of any breach in the standard of care, and if that breach could have caused your injury or misdiagnosed your illness. We have winning experience in some of the most challenging cases and are responsible for a $3.5 million settlement for a veteran who was paralyzed as a result of military facility physician’s failure to recognize and treat a spinal epidural abscess.
Request Legal Help If You Were Injured or Misdiagnosed in a Military Treatment Facility
The attorneys of Levin & Perconti have secured more settlements over $500,000 than any other law firm in Illinois over the last year. Contact the military medical malpractice attorneys of Levin & Perconti now at 1-877-374-1417 for a free consultation.