8OYS: Defense bill includes provision allowing active-duty military to sue for malpractice

8 On Your Side

Green Beret's story moves lawmakers to act

TAMPA (WFLA) – There are others who are victims of medical malpractice by military doctors but Green Beret Richard Stayskal is the face of a movement to hold those physicians accountable for their mistakes.

It is a right to which civilians are entitled, but not the military, and the U.S. House of Representatives felt that needed change.

“We’re not asking for better care, we’re asking for the same care,” Sgt. Stayskal said.

Army doctors failed to inform Rich Stayskal about a spot on his lung.

But Army doctors dropped the ball on Rich’s case.

They failed to inform Rich of a spot on his lung they detected, not once, but twice. By the time Rich and his wife Megan learned of his disease, cancer had advanced to stage 3.

“It absolutely could have been prevented or stopped, it was there, it was documented, it was seen, it was known about,” explained Rich.

A 70-year-old Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres Doctrine prevented Rich and others injured by military doctors to hold them accountable.

During a 10 month period, 8 On Your Side aired a dozen stories profiling Rich Stayskal’s fight to change the law.

We called on several members of Congress and challenged Senator Rick Scott to get off the fence and take a stand on this issue

Tucked in the $738 billion dollar defense spending bill or National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a provision, inspired by Rich’s story which allows active-duty personnel to sue for military malpractice.

If the NDAA passes the Senate, it could be on the President’s desk next week and Rich Stayskal may finally see justice.

If you know of something that you think should be investigated call our 8 On Your Side Helpline at 1 800 338-0808.

Contact Steve Andrews at sandrews@wfla.com

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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