Active Duty Military Medical Malpractice Attorney in Washington, DC
Active duty troops are barred from directly suing the U.S. government for injuries or death to a servicemember resulting from their military duties. Since 1950, this limitation has extended to claims of malpractice based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that is known as the Feres doctrine. However, a recent change in the law may allow for active duty servicemembers to bring forth active duty medical malpractice claims so that they can finally recover compensation when military doctors harm them through negligent care.
Can Active Duty Military Sue for Malpractice?
In the Feres v. United States case, the Supreme Court ruled that active military personnel could not sue the government in federal court for injuries arising out of “activity incident to service.” However, the Richard Stayskal Medical Accountability Act and amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which became effective in December 2019, allows for active duty military servicemembers to file an administrative claim for medical malpractice stemming from injury or death caused by the negligence of a federal employee providing medical or dental care.
This is a welcome change. Prior to the amendment, only certain family members, veterans, and civilians could sue the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act if they suffered medical malpractice at a military medical facility. But, active duty military members were barred from taking similar action for about 70 years. Now, a pathway is open to active duty personnel who are injured by medical malpractice occurring at a military medical facility. While active duty servicemembers still cannot sue in court, they may be able to file an administrative claim for personal injury or death caused by negligence or wrongful acts committed by a health care provider in a military hospital or clinic who is employed by the Department of Defense.
Criteria for Filing a Claim
Active duty servicemembers can file an administrative medical claim when:
- The act or omission constituting medical malpractice resulted in the injury or death of a member of the Armed Forces.
- The medical malpractice was received by the servicemember at a military medical treatment facility that is not in an area of combat.
- The claim is filed within two years of the discovery of the medical malpractice.
How to File a Claim
Servicemembers should follow the policies of their branch for filing a claim. Claims can be filed in writing with the following:
- Army – Submit claims to the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, to the appropriate Center Judge Advocate of the Medical Center, or with U.S. Army Claims Service, 4411 Llewellyn Avenue, Fort Meade, Maryland 20755, ATTN: Tort Claims Division.
- Navy and Marine Corps – Obtain forms and directions for filling at https://www.jag.navy.mil/. Mail completed forms to the Office of the Judge Advocate General, Tort Claims Unit, 9620 Maryland Avenue, Suite 205, Norfolk, Virginia 23511-2949.
- Air Force – Submit claims to the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at the nearest Air Force Base or 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.
Why You Need a DC Military Medical Malpractice Lawyer
A military medical malpractice lawyer can review the circumstances surrounding your injury and advise you whether you can file a claim. Bertram Law Group is proud to help active duty service members and their families throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia pursue the compensation they deserve after being harmed by a negligent healthcare provider while serving our country.
Contact Bertram Law Group for help with your claim.