The men and women who serve in the United States armed forces deserve the utmost respect. However, they have not been treated equally under the law, particularly when it comes to their ability to file medical malpractice lawsuits. At Mancini & Associates, our California medical malpractice lawyers want to discuss a recent federal law change that will allow military service personnel to receive compensation if they have been harmed due to a medical error made by military healthcare professionals.
For nearly 70 years, something called the Feres Doctrine has prevented military service members from filing medical malpractice lawsuits against negligent or careless military healthcare professionals. This has severely harmed the men and women who bravely serve this country, only to be injured due to a medical mistake.
Army Sgt. First Class Richard Stayskal knows about the Feres Doctrine all too well. In 2017, he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer by a civilian doctor that his medical doctor had previously failed to diagnose. On top of learning he had a terminal illness, he then learned that he could not seek damages from the doctor who missed the original diagnosis.
For more than a year, Sgt. Stayskal and his wife have traveled from their home at Fort Bragg In North Carolina to Washington DC monthly to speak to members of Congress and to testify about why the law needed to change. His hard work, and the work of other military service members in similar situations, have paid off.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was passed by Congress and signed by the president. It will allow service members to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the federal government for errors made by military medical personnel.
Medical mistakes are unfortunately common in this country, affecting civilians and military service members alike. Researchers at Johns Hopkins claimed that approximately 250,000 people die each year due to preventable medical errors. This includes surgical mistakes, medication errors, healthcare-acquired infections, misdiagnosis, failure to treat, and more.
These mistakes can lead to life-long consequences for those who survive, including disabilities and tremendous medical expenses.
If you or somebody you care about has been or is currently in the military and sustained harm due to the careless or negligent actions of a military medical professional, seek legal assistance today. At Mancini & Associates, we are dedicated to helping anybody who has been harmed due to a medical error recover the compensation they deserve. This can include: