Bill would allow military members to sue government for medical malpractices


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Victims of military medical malpractice testifed on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. They want Congress to change what they call an “outdated law.”

The Feres Doctrine bars military personnel from suing the U.S. government. 

Army Sgt. First Class Richard Stayskal said military doctors failed to identify a suspicious growth in his lung. He was later diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Stayskal is now leading the charge to get the “Feres Doctrine” changed. 

“It’s just not fair that it was missed and he wasn’t told,” said Megan Stayskal, Rich’s wife. “There’s a possibility that our children will grow up without a father.” 

The Stayskals’ attorney, Natalie Khawam, said our troops deserve better.

“They shouldn’t be fighting for their health in this country,” Khawam said.

Members of Congress heard about Stayskal’s story and introduced legislation that would give service members the same right everyday people have to sue doctors who fail to do their job.

“They should have the right to justice,” said Charlie Christ (D- Florida).

Crist is a sponsor of the bill named “Sergeant First Class Richard Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act of 2019” in Stayskal’s honor. Crist said it would allow legitimate claims to move forward while preventing frivolous lawsuits.

“They can go ahead and sue in court and receive the just compensation for the wrong that was done to them,” said Crist.

Stayskal said he’s not sure how much time he has left, but he’s hopeful lawmakers will support the legislation and provide those like him equal protection under the law.

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