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Military Hospital Malpractice
Serving Clients Throughout New York City for Close to 30 Years
As medical staff is only human, errors will occur. However, when these errors should have been avoided or were the result of gross negligence, something must be done in order to defend those who were injured. In most cases, a lawsuit can be brought against the hospital or negligent doctor. However, when it comes to military hospitals, there are certain laws in place which make is difficult for victims to receive justice. In order to ensure that your rights are upheld following a medical error or case of negligence, you need to have a strong medical malpractice attorney on your side throughout the entire process. Whether you suffered from a birth injury, surgical error, incorrect operation, or failure to diagnose, please do not waste any time in getting in touch with our team at the Law Offices of Joseph M. Lichtenstein, PC.
Feres v. United States
Known as the Feres doctrine, this piece of legislation essentially protects the United States government from being sued for alleged cases of malpractice. The case was the combination of three federal cases: the Feres case, the Jefferson case, and the Griggs case. In the Feres case, the District Court dismissed a case involving the death of a service man who was on active duty. A fire in the barracks led to his death, but it was claimed that he should not have been there in the first place because of a defective heating plant. In the Jefferson case, a member of the army underwent an operation in his abdomen. Approximately 8 months later in a different surgery, a towel was removed from his stomach. It measured 30 inches long and 18 inches wide and had "Medical Department U.S. Army" stamped across it. The courts found that the United States could not be held liable and the case was dismissed.
The last case which played a crucial role in the formation of the Feres doctrine was the Griggs case. The army surgeons who treated the victim were accused of negligence and unskilled treatment leading to his death. Feres v. United States took place in 1950, over 62 years ago. Since then, questions have been raised as to how fair this case really is as it is now a precedent for military hospital malpractice claim. In other cases, victims could be entitled to compensation under the Federal Tort Claims Act. However, this case holds that the U.S. cannot be held liable for injuries to members of the military sustained because of negligence of other members of the military.
Gross Errors in Military Hospitals: Case Studies
How common are medical errors in military hospitals? How are these cases treated? Following are just a few examples of cases that have been dismissed as negligence. A sailor was left with five sponges and a plastic device in her stomach for three months. In a secondary procedure to remove the foreign objects, she was left infertile. In a case of misdiagnosis, a member of the Air Force was sent home. In what turned out to be appendicitis, he was left brain-dead. A Navy lieutenant commander was treated for eczema. By the time the doctors discovered that it was not eczema, it was too late and he succumbed to the cancer. These cases beg the question, is it ever possible to sue the military for medical malpractice if these seemingly obvious cases were dismissed? The answer is yes. However, it will be necessary for you to have an attorney on your side who is experienced in handling cases involving the U.S. government.
On your own, it is more likely that you will not be treated with fairness. If you want to learn if you have a case, please contact a New York malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
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