Illegal immigrants entitled to sue for malpractice, but not active-duty military

Investigations

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Illegal immigrants have the right to sue doctors for malpractice in this country and prisoners have the right to file malpractice litigation against doctors at correctional facilities, but America’s active-duty service members do not have the right to hold bad military doctors accountable.

A federal law called the Feres Doctrine prevents such lawsuits by active-duty military.

Army doctors failed to notify Sgt. 1st Class Rich Stayskal, a Green Beret, about a spot on his lung. He is now dealing with stage 4 cancer.

He informed the government he intended to sue.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to change the Feres Doctrine. Now its fate lies in the hands of the Senate.

A former military prosecutor contends there is no need to change the Feres Doctrine, saying there is a fair system in place that compensates people for negligent acts by service members. It is called the Federal Torts Claims Act.

In a letter to Sgt. Stayskal, the Department of the Army wrote: “The claim was considered under the Federal Torts Claims Act.”

“Pursuant to Feres v United States, service members are not proper claimants for personal injuries arising incident to their military service.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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