Active-duty military personnel can now file medical malpractice lawsuits against the V.A. and doctors who are military employees. The Pentagon has set up a committee to review the cases of military personnel and their families. However, the committee isn’t fully functional yet, but those with claims can still jumpstart the process.
The bill that opened the process for filing claims against military doctors is named the SFC Richard Stayskal Medical Accountability Act. Stayskal was misdiagnosed by medical doctors as having pneumonia when he actually had a cancerous mass growing in his lungs. By the time doctors recognized that he had lung cancer, he was already in stage four and is not expected to survive much longer.
The law now requires the Pentagon to set up a system for processing medical malpractice claims. However, active-duty military would not have the same recourse to file lawsuits in court as a private citizen would.
Who Should I Contact?
If you have a claim against a military doctor or your spouse was killed by medical negligence in services rendered by a medical doctor, who you should contact will depend on what branch of the military you served. Below is a complete listing for military members.
- Army claims need to be presented at the nearest Office of the Staff Judge Advocate to the Center Judge Advocate for medical center in which you have received negligent medical services. Additionally, a claim can be filed with the U.S. Army Claims Service, 4411 Llewellyn Ave, Fort Mead, Maryland.
- Navy and Marine Corps. claims can be downloaded at https://www.jag.navy.mil/ and should be mailed to: Office of the Judge Advocate General, Tort Claims Unit, 9620 Maryland Avenue, Suite 205, Norfolk, Virginia 23511-2949.
- Air Force members should present claims to the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at the nearest Air Force Base or sent by mail to: AFLOA/JACC, 1500 W. Perimeter Road, Suite 1700, Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762. POC: Medical Law Branch, AFLOA/JACC 240-612-4620 or DSN 612-4620.
While active-duty troops are still barred from filing lawsuits against the federal government vis a vis the Feres Doctrine, they can now submit claims related to medical malpractice injuries thanks to the new law. Stayskal and his attorney have spent the past several years lobbying Congress to get the Feres Doctrine overturned. The new law has not overturned the Feres Doctrine. Active-duty troops are still barred from filing lawsuits, but as an end-around to the legal precedent, troops can now file claims for themselves and their families to receive compensation for negligent medical services. The new law sets aside $400 million to investigate claims and award compensation. Stayskal was awarded $5 million for his misdiagnosis claim.
Talk to a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you have any questions concerning how the new law can help you and your family receive compensation for medical malpractice, call the Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at Palmer | Lopez today and set up a free consultation.