Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 24, 2020 – Active duty military personnel and their families may now file medical malpractice claims against Department of Defense (DOD) medical facilities, after 70 years of being blocked from doing so. The National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019 finally granting the ability to sue military care providers for injury or death due to malpractice.
The 1950 Supreme Court decision in Feres v. United States established a precedent that determined that active duty military could not hold the federal government responsible for any personal injuries or death sustained while on-duty. Although the National Defense Authorization Act does not overturn the Feres Doctrine, it allows for payments from the Department of Defense to active duty servicemembers for malpractice claims.
“Our active duty military members are constantly putting themselves in dangerous situations, ones that civilians do not usually encounter,” said James G. Fausone, lead attorney at Northville, Michigan law firm Legal Help for Veterans. “However, they and civilians alike are at risk of being harmed by the negligence of a medical professional and they should have the ability to be compensated when that happens as private citizens do.”
There are a few limitations to the new law though. Servicemembers who make malpractice claims may not sue in federal court. Instead, cases will be decided through a claims settlement process. There will be a $100,000 limit imposed on most awards, but larger amounts can be approved in some circumstances. Plaintiffs may not be awarded damages for medical malpractice in a war zone, nor may they sue for loss of future income or to pay for legal fees.
A two-year statute of limitations has been placed on these potential claims, so anyone injured by medical malpractice while serving before 2017 is not able to pursue damages.
Legal Help for Veterans is a veteran owned and operated law firm specializing in VA disability claims. Visit them online.
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
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