The National Defense Authorization Act passed this year with a provision that allows active-duty members to claim damages for military medical malpractice, a right that military retirees and dependents have long enjoyed. This change to the 70-year-old Feres doctrine comes in part thanks to efforts from Richard Stayskal, an active duty service member whose progressive lung cancer was misdiagnosed as pneumonia by military doctors at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Stayskal’s cancer is now stage 4 terminal. Stayskal was the first to file a claim pursuant to this change in the law on January 1st, 2020, according to the Military Times. Army Sgt. First Class Richard Stayskal has brought a $5 million claim for medical negligence. We salute Sgt Stayskal and all of the other members of the military for their efforts at finally convincing the US Congress to change this law.
While service members will not be permitted to bring a lawsuit in federal court, they are able to bring these medical malpractice claims administratively. The Military Times has also reported that Pentagon spokeswoman Lisa Lawrence has said the department is ready to receive claims for processing as soon as the procedures for reviewing these claims are put in place. This new law has designated $400 million to the Pentagon to investigate military medical malpractice claims and to award victim’s compensation.
Our Firm has Experience with Military Claims Act Cases
Few firms in the nation have experience with cases that fall under the MCA. For decades we have assisted military families, dependents, and military retirees in bringing claims against the U.S. government for medical malpractice occurring at military hospitals, at home, and abroad. Many of these cases fall under the MCA, which governs the administrative process unique to these claims.