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Give active duty military the right to sue

September 16, 2019

Sgt. Stayskal is a victim of military medical malpractice and is fighting to give others like him the right to sue for his injuries. Photo credit: American Association for Justice – The Faces of Feres

From the American Association of Justice – The Faces of Feres:

Sgt. Richard Stayskal is a Purple Heart recipient who was shot by a sniper in Iraq in 2004. He went to several military doctors with breathing problems related to that injury but was repeatedly misdiagnosed with pneumonia and simply sent home. After consulting with a non-military civilian doctor, he was diagnosed with terminal stage-4 lung cancer and given a life expectancy of less than a year.

Today, Sgt. Stayskal has only months left to live. He is just 37 years old, and will leave a wife and two young daughters behind.

The Feres Doctrine prevents active duty military, like Sgt. Stayskal, from suing the federal government for negligent medical care services, as all claims are considered incident to their military service. However, right now there is a potential to change that law: SFC Richard Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act of 2019 (HR2422) is a bipartisan bill that would partially repeal the Feres Doctrine, and allow active-duty military to sue for non-combat related medical malpractice injuries under the FTCA.

On Tuesday, Congresswomen Jackie Speier made an impassioned speech on the House floor, on behalf of Sgt. Richard Stayskal and his tireless advocacy of a change in the Feres doctrine (click on the link, below). Please reach out to your members of Congress and ask them to support inclusion of the Feres language in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4815775/rep-jackie-speier-sfc-stayskal&fbclid=IwAR0vq7Yu7TmuLyHOiDFoYSRSopJX6RF4utW5kMDvvTN1FIQVixJirHlB1dM

 

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