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Berta

Bill proposed to overturn Feres Doctrine

Question

Posted (edited)

https://speier.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-speier-introduces-bipartisan-bill-restore-military-servicemembers

 

April 30, 2019
Press Release

In part:

"Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), along with her colleagues Richard Hudson (R-NC), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Charlie Crist (D-FL), and Greg Steube (R-FL) introduced H.R. 2422, the Sergeant First Class Richard Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act of 2019, which would allow military servicemembers to sue the Department of Defense for instances of medical malpractice unrelated to their military duties. Currently, the Feres Doctrine, which originated in a 1950 Supreme Court case, prevents servicemembers from having their day in court when malpractice by military health care providers unconnected to combat results in severe injury or even death.

For nearly 70 years, servicemembers have not been able to sue military medical providers after being misdiagnosed, mistreated, or subjected to botched surgeries, even though this malpractice occurred in health care settings in which all other Americans have that right. By creating an exemption to the Federal Tort Claims Act to allow servicemembers to sue the military for medical malpractice, the Stayskal Act would give servicemembers the same right as the fellow citizens they serve to protect. SFC Stayskal developed terminal lung cancer after being misdiagnosed in a military health facility.

“The Feres Doctrine is a travesty,” said Rep. Speier, Chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee. “It denies servicemembers who put their lives on the line for this country the same access to the justice system enjoyed by servicemembers’ spouses, other federal employees, and even prisoners. Creating an exemption for medical malpractice is long overdue. I’m thrilled to have a bipartisan group of colleagues join me in addressing this injustice for our servicemembers and their families, who bear the burden of service as well.”

 

The text is available at the above site, and the Bill has not been annotated yet with a number:

"To amend chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code, to allow suit against the United States for injuries and deaths of members of the Armed Forces of the United States caused by improper medical care, and for other purposes. 
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 2 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 3 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Sfc. Richard Stayskal 4 Military Medical Accountability Act of 2019’’. 

This is great- because there are now 2 Bills -one in Senate ( S 221 - which I have asked the senators to correct) and one in the House regarding VA medical malpractice,the Brian Tally Bill,  and I have requested that Congressman Roe support a bill I wrote ,with 4 specific amendents called -"The Rodney F. Simmons VA Malpractice Accountability Act."

Malpractice whether in the Military or the VA health care system is obviously unconscionable !

Sgt Stayskal's story is here:

http://www.fox46charlotte.com/news/local-news/north-carolina-green-beret-fighting-cancer-the-government-over-medical-mistake

My husband's story is documented with the VA OGC, OAWB, via a White House Hot Line discussion,also documented with Congressman Roe, Senators Gardner,Manchin, Moran, Collins, And Cassidy. in past letters to the HVAC, to past VA Secretarys, discussions I had with former Chair H VAC, Cong. Bob Filner, etc etc, and something better be done.

Many of us have veteran adult children. These bills cannot change the fact of wrongful deaths, of veterans, caused by the VA , or as in Sgt Stayskal's case, he is still alive, but  the results of the Military malpractice he experienced - will be fatal. We have to think about our nation's future Military men and women who need medical care while they are still inservice, and after service, if they enroll into the VA heath care system.

 

 

Edited by Berta
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At least something seems to be finally getting done because every time I see a post on the Feres Doctrine, it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  I should know because I have been down that same road too already.  I even went to federal court in attempt to defend my case.  Be aware that Feres also protects the US military from legal malpractice by its own incompetent - and many times unethical - military lawyers.

While I was on active duty with the US Army, I was threatened by a US Army lawyer named Captain Matthew Fitzgerald to do something which was contrary to the US Army legal regulations (which I did not know at the time but he did).  Fitzgerald’s motive was to tout this as his first accomplishment on his annual performance report of which I later got a copy.  This threat resulted in my losing over $50,000 of my personal funds. 

When I asked the top lawyer (then Lieutenant General Dana Chipman) for assistance, the first thing they did was appoint Fitzgerald’s previous boss and a very obvious friend to “investigate.”  Since there was no wrongdoing found as a result of this faux investigation but specifics were protected by the Privacy Act , I filed the same complaint with Fitzgerald’s Oregon State Bar which is NOT PROTECTED under privacy laws.  Evidence showed that Fitzgerald lied no less than 10 times to his Oregon State Bar.  Lying to your licensing state bar is grounds for permanent disbarment.  The state bar clearly acknowledged that the US Army lawyers were wrongfully "protecting" Fitzgerald and if they were not, the state bar would take action.

I then sued in federal court.  It was all thrown out of federal court due to Feres although I had a slam-dunk case with all evidence in my favor.  In fact, I was never even able to get into court and present my case.  The judge simply had his law clerks cut-and-paste a previous reply to a previous case.  Just to add insult to my financial injury, Fitzgerald since got promoted TWICE as an Army lawyer.  Feres was NEVER designed 60 years ago as this kind of "protection."  Today it protects against everything to include corruption, misdeeds, and even cover-ups by US Army lawyers wearing stars on their shoulders.

Fitzgerald became a prosecutor and sent people to Fort Leavenworth prison for violations LESS than what he is clearly guilty.  Lying to the feds is a crime punishable by prison.  You don't believe that?  Look at what happened with what Robert Mueller has done in 2018 and 2019.

Go to the link https://www.facebook.com/people/Feres-Doctrine/100011369043077 and you will see it all.

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