Military Personnel and Birth Injury Lawsuits

Military Personnel and Birth Injury Lawsuits

When birth injuries occur, the result can be tragic and permanent. Often, the effects of an injury that occurs at or near birth - such as brain damage during delivery - can last a lifetime and require life long medical care and attention. Where the injuries occur as the result of a medical error, parents may be able to recover damages by filing a birth injury lawsuit. However, a controversial doctrine - called the Feres Doctrine - often prevents military families from obtaining justice. The Feres Doctrine provides that military personnel may not sue the government for injuries incidental to serving the country. While initially created to protect the government from personal injury lawsuits by troops in combat, it has been used to deprive service members who are harmed by medical malpractice from obtaining justice.

For example, in Ortiz v. The United States Government, the child of an Air Force Captain sustained a severe and permanent brain injury during her delivery at a military hospital. The medical staff providing the mother care made a prescription error, which led to an allergic reaction. However, because of the mother's active duty medical status, the Feres Doctrine has been applied to block the family from recovering compensation in a medical malpractice/birth injury lawsuit. The family has petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review this case.

For more information or if you or a loved one has been harmed by medical malpractice, please contact the experienced California medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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