PKSD Newsletter: Bill Allows Medical Malpractice Claims Against Military

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Mar 11, 2020 in Firm News

Military soldiers on the fieldA major step forward for military personnel happened when Donald Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NADA) into law on December 20, 2019.

PKSD Law reports in its monthly newsletter that the bill, originally titled for its namesake, the SFC Richard Stayskal Military Medical Malpractice Accountability Act of 2019, also known as H.R. 2422, was added to NADA and signed into law by President Trump as part of that bill.

H.R. 2422 makes a dent in a 70-year-old law called the Feres Doctrine. This law previously barred service members who suffered negligence due to military medical malpractice from being able to pursue compensation for their injuries and other damages against the military.

As a result of H.R. 2422, the Department of Defense (DOD) has been allocated $400 million over the next ten years to cover claims involving military medical malpractice.

Some of the provisions of H.R. 2422 state that:

  • Service members can pursue compensation against military facilities for medical negligence or medical malpractice
  • The bill is retro-active to January 2017
  • The DOD must document and respond to all claims
  • There are no caps placed on the amount of compensation that can be awarded

What Moved this Bill Into Action

In 2017, SFC Richard Stayskal learned he had terminal lung cancer from a civilian doctor. This shocking news came after military doctors had repeatedly failed to correctly diagnose him, even after he had a routine chest scan in 2017 that clearly revealed the tumors.

Months later, when Stayskal again saw a military doctor due to chest pain and shortness of breath, the cancer was again missed. It was only in June of 2017, when he sought out a civilian doctor because he had started to cough up blood, that he received the bad news he had stage 3 lung cancer and that it had already metastasized.

SFC Stayskal is a decorated Green Beret recipient, husband, and father of two girls, who served in the military for many years, even after being shot in the chest while serving in Iraq. Yet he, like many injured military service members before him, was barred from pursuing compensation against the military for medical malpractice because of the Feres doctrine.

This bill could have taken years to come to light. However, the determination of Stayskal, along with the help of his attorney, Natalie Khawam and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif and chair of the House Armed Services Committee’s Military Personnel Subcommittee, made it happen years sooner.

Contact an Trusted Attorney For Help

If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to medical negligence or malpractice while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, we encourage you to contact one of our experienced Milwaukee medical malpractice attorneys for legal help. We offer a completely free, no-obligation consultation to review the circumstances of your potential claim and answer any legal questions you may have.

We take these cases on contingency, so if we represent you, there are no upfront fees to pay. You only pay us for our services if we first achieve compensation for you.

Contact our firm today. FREE consultation. No upfront fees: 877-877-2228

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