Generally, military personnel cannot bring a lawsuit against the government for injuries sustained that are incidental to service. However, this rule does NOT apply to family members or dependents of military personnel. For example, a family member injured in a military hospital due to physician negligence may bring a lawsuit against the government.
California Ferris Doctrine Attorneys
The above doctrine is known as the Feres doctrine (also known as the Ferris doctrine). The Feres decision, handed down by the Supreme Court in 1950, states that active duty military personnel are barred from bringing a lawsuit against the government for injuries sustained that are "incidental to service." Under the Feres doctrine, injuries due to medical treatment — whether due to negligent care or not — are "incidental to service" and thus not actionable.
However, under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), nonmilitary people, including military dependents and family members injured while receiving medical attention at a government hospital, can sue the government for medical malpractice.
At the law office of David P. Beeson & Associates, our lawyers help military men and women and their families recover damages in cases involving military medical malpractice. To discuss your case and learn how we can help you, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at David P. Beeson & Associates today to schedule a free consultation.
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Injuries, Medical Malpractice and Military Hospitals
The law office of David P. Beeson & Associates represents military personnel, their dependents and families in cases involving medical malpractice, including:
- Birth injuries
- Surgical errors
- Emergency room errors
- Medication errors
- Bedsores, dehydration, abuse
Military Medical Malpractice and the Feres Doctrine
Under the Feres doctrine, active duty military personnel are barred from bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a military doctor or facility. However, military dependents are not. If the spouse or child of an active duty solider is injured, the spouse or child may bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and doctors involved. Our attorneys can help your family members gather all necessary information and medical records while consulting expert medical witnesses to testify on their behalf. In presenting your case, we identify departures from standard treatment protocols and general acts of negligence that caused injury to your family member.
Military Claims Act
Under the terms of the Military Claims Act, an active duty serviceman or servicewoman can recover damages for injuries caused by military personnel or civilians acting within the scope of their job duties. Injuries sustained as a result of a military or civilian doctor in a military hospital are governed by the MCA. However, in order to recover compensation for medical malpractice under the MCA, the initial injury claim cannot be denied. If the initial claim is denied, an appeal must be filed within 30 days of the denial with the Judge Advocate General's office.
Military Medical Malpractice and the FTCA
While the FTCA allows people to recover compensation for injuries caused by negligent government doctors in military hospitals, a number of requirements must first be met. Formal claims forms must be properly and fully completed. The form then must be properly served. There are strict time frames that must be followed. Failure to follow these formal requirements and time frames can result in a complete loss of your rights. Our attorneys understand the complications involved in filing a claim under the FTCA. We can evaluate your case and determine how best to bring your medical malpractice against the government.
If you or a member of your family has suffered serious injuries due to medical malpractice in a military installation or hospital, contact personal injury attorneys at David P. Beeson & Associates today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.