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Military Medical Malpractice – How to File a Claim

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which included provisions from an earlier bill, the SFC Richard Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act, that allows active duty servicemembers, veterans, or their surviving family members to file claims for death or personal injury caused by the negligence or wrongful acts of a Department of Defense employed health care provider in either a military clinic or military hospital.

Army Sgt. First Class Richard Stayskal filed the first claim under this new law alleging negligence by Army physicians, who misdiagnosed a growing lung mass as pneumonia. The former Marine and Green Beret has since been diagnosed with stage 4 terminal lung cancer. A civilian doctor diagnosed SFC Stayskal’s lung cancer in June 2017.

The Pentagon recommends that all active military personnel and veterans should follow their individual services’ policies for filing a claim. By area of service, the addresses for filing a claim are:

Air Force: Claims should be presented either at 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.

Army: Claims should be presented to the nearest Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, to the Center Judge Advocate of the Medical Center in question, or with U.S. Army Claims Service, 4411 Llewellyn Avenue, Fort Meade, Maryland 20755, ATTN: Tort Claims Division.

Marine Corps and Navy: Information, directions and forms for filing a claim may be found at https://www.jag.navy.mil/. Claims should be mailed to the Office of the Judge Advocate General, Tort Claims Unit, 9620 Maryland Avenue, Suite 205, Norfolk, Virginia 23511-2949.

A new Pentagon committee is working to define the process for active service members, veterans, or their survivors to file medical malpractice claims against the Department of Defense. The new law requires the establishment of a system and to update Congress on the regulations required for implementation and the filing of future claims.

Since 1950, military servicemembers have been prohibited from suing the U.S. government for death, injury, or malpractice resulting from their military duties. The ruling, called the Feres doctrine, was established by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The new law does not permit troops to file civil suits against the Department of Defense, but it does provide a means for them or their families to file claims of malpractice, negligence, or wrongful death in order to seek compensation.

The current legislation provides the Pentagon with $400 million to investigate claims and award compensation. Victims have up to two (2) years after the malpractice incident to file a claim. The only exception is this year, which also allows those filing a claim to seek redress for incidents dating to 2017.

The Injured Veterans legal team at Gordon & Partners is here for military veterans and their families. Please contact us immediately, if you are having difficulty with your claim or you are not receiving the disability benefits to which you are entitled. Call us at 1-888-231-9144 or fill out the form on this website.

Read the full story here: https://www.militarytimes.com/pay-benefits/2020/01/10/got-a-military-medical-malpractice-claim-heres-how-to-file/