When Can Birth Injury Lawsuits Be Filed Against Military Doctors?

When Can Birth Injury Lawsuits Be Filed Against Military Doctors?

A recent birth injury lawsuit has revived an old debate. Called the "Feres doctrine," this doctrine prevents active-duty service members from suing the government for injuries incurred in the line-of-duty. This includes claims for medical malpractice. In the recent birth injury case, an Air Force Captain arrived at an army hospital to deliver her baby via C-Section. However, during the labor and delivery process, she was given Zantac, a heartburn medication that she was allergic to. She suffered an allergic reaction, causing her blood pressure to drop, subsequently denying the child oxygen for an extended period of time. The baby suffered brain damage and now has severe disabilities, including cerebral palsy requiring life-long 24-hour care.

When a civilian doctor's negligent actions cause harm to another - such as in the case of a birth injury - it may be possible to file a medical malpractice claim for damages. The court in this matter originally determined that the "Feres Doctrine" applied, prohibiting the family from suing the doctor or hospital. However representatives plan to appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, citing previous cases where appeals courts ruled in favor of military children injured during child birth. Statistics reveal that from 2010 to 2013 the average rate of injuries to babies during delivery was twice the national average.

Hopefully this latest challenge will help provide justice to those military families affected by medical negligence. For more information or if you believe that you or a loved one has suffered harm as the result of any type of medical negligence, please contact the dedicated California birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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