Military Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Challenges the Feres DoctrineMay 7, 2019
In March 2014, a Navy lieutenant who was employed as a nurse at the Naval Hospital Bremerton in Washington died during childbirth. The pregnant Naval officer went into labor, but suffered complications which caused excessive bleeding. Unfortunately, she died shortly after giving birth. The deceased’s husband, who is a former Coast Guard officer, filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital, alleging that doctors did not provide his wife with the immediate medical treatment needed when she started to hemorrhage. The lawsuit, Daniel v. United States, challenges the Feres doctrine, which states that the service member may not sue the federal government for injuries sustained as a result of military service.
There have been several court cases that have challenged the Feres doctrine, but many of those petitions were rejected by the U.S Supreme Court recently. However, Daniel v. United States was not one of them. According to the plaintiff’s lawyer, they are waiting to hear if the case is going to be rescheduled. A former major in the Army Judge Advocate General Corps. stated that the Feres doctrine is unfair to this country’s service members. Essentially, it means that U.S. military personnel are not entitled to the same benefits as civilians if they are the victim of medical negligence.
History of the Feres Ruling
The Feres ruling was established in 1950, and states that military personnel can only sue the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act, and only in limited circumstances. They are prohibited from suing for injuries that occurred while on active duty or injuries that were caused by the negligence of another member of the military, including medics, combat doctors, and operational commanders. Troops are also prohibited from suing the government for medical malpractice.
Changing the ruling would help service members in several ways. First, it would give them the same rights that civilians enjoy, including those that were harmed in the same medical facility. In addition, it holds the military physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals accountable for providing the skilled medical care that all military personnel deserve. The Feres doctrine essentially gives doctors immunity, and there are no major financial consequences for medical malpractice.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Injured Military Personnel
If you are in the military, and you received negligent medical care from other military personnel, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We believe that the men and women of our military deserve the best medical care available, and we will promptly investigate your federal medical malpractice claim. Our dedicated and skilled legal professionals will protect your rights and ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.