What is Military Medical Malpractice?

Military medical malpractice is medical malpractice that occurs in a military hospital or military medical facility, or clinic. When a doctor or medical professional provides substandard quality care to their patient, resulting in personal injury, harm, accident, or wrongful death, this may be grounds for filing an FTCA medical malpractice claim. Patients can experience significant physical damage as well as financial loss because of medical negligence. Injuries such as a traumatic birth injury can leave service members and their families with years of emotional grief as well as financial stress.

Who Suffers From Military Medical Malpractice?

Military personnel such as active duty military, reserved military members, retired service members, or veterans, as well as their families, can experience military medical malpractice if they have received substandard medical care from a military hospital or facility. Negligent medical care at the hands of a medical practitioner can cause devastating loss and consequences as well as years of financial damage. Military personnel who have experienced medical malpractice can suffer from personal injuries such as a head injury, brain trauma, birth injury, cerebral palsy, spinal injury, paralysis, amputation, unnecessary infection, retained surgical instruments, wrong-site surgery, wrongful death, and more.

Federal Tort Claims Act Medical Malpractice

The Federal Tort Claims Act, also known as the FTCA,  is a federal law that provides the legal mechanism for individuals who have suffered personal injury due to the negligent or wrongful action of employees of the U.S. government (such as medical malpractice). Often, these claims originate from negligence or wrongful acts in the following categories:

  • Property damage
  • Property loss
  • Personal Injury
  • Wrongful Death

In most cases, individuals, veterans, and service members are unable to sue the federal government because of the doctrine of  sovereign immunity, which means:

  • The U.S.government cannot be sued without its consent.
  • The U.S. government has immunity to all civil lawsuits and prosecution unless it waives sovereign immunity.

However, because the Federal Tort Claims Act waives sovereign immunity, individuals can file claims for medical malpractice against the U.S. government for government employees’ negligent or wrongful acts.

If you have suffered personal injury or loss as a result of the negligence or wrongful acts of a U.S. government employee, then you may be entitled to compensation. Medical Malpractices cases against the U.S. government and its agencies can be complicated. This is why it is important to speak with a military medical malpractice lawyer that can review your case. The Archuleta Law firm provides free case evaluations here.

Can You Sue the Military for Medical Malpractice?

It depends. The Feres Doctrine may impose certain limitations on military medical malpractice claims for active duty service members. The doctrine is named after the 1950 case Feres v. The United States, which held the Government is not liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act for injuries to servicemembers where the injuries arise out of or are in the course of activity incident to service. The Feres doctrine has prevented active duty servicemembers from filing medical malpractice claims since the case was decided. However, the National Defense Authorization Act has provided an avenue for active duty service members to recover damages for medical malpractice claims.

Active Duty and the National Defense Authorization Act

For 70 years, active duty service members have suffered injury and death due to medical malpractice at military hospitals, facilities, and clinics. On December 20, 2020, President Donald J. Trump signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act.

Under the National Defense Authorization Act, Active duty service members can now present a claim and seek compensation for medical malpractice. However, this new law comes with some significant limitations:

  • Service members are unable to file a claim for medical malpractice that occurred in a combat zone; and
  • Service members are not able to sue in federal court and must be adjudicated in the administrative process.

Statute Of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a time limitation that prevents a plaintiff from filing a claim after a certain amount of time has passed after suffering harm. The purpose of statutes of limitations are to encourage the prompt presentation of claims.

There is a 2-year statute of limitations under the FTCA that begins when the claim accrues. This generally begins when one knows or should have known the cause and existence of their injury. Failure to file a claim before the statute of limitations will eliminate your ability to file a Federal Tort Claim and recover damages for your injuries.

Medical malpractice cases are complicated and require a thorough investigation of medical records and medical history. This is why it is important to speak with an FTCA lawyer right away if you or someone you know was injured due to medical negligence at a military or veterans hospital, clinic, or facility. Case evaluations are completed by our highly experienced staff and always free.

Statute of Repose

The statute of repose is very similar to a statute of limitations yet serves a different purpose. The statute of repose is an absolute bar to a plaintiff’s right of action after a certain amount of time has passed or the occurrence of an event that does not itself cause harm or give rise to a potential claim. There are more than 30 states with statutes of repose laws for medical malpractice claims, and the amount of time in each of these states can differ.

Statute of Repose and Federal Preemption

One way to argue against the applicability of a state statute of repose in a Federal Tort Claims case is by arguing Federal Preemption. When a federal law and a state law conflict, the federal law “preempts” the state law. Since the FTCA does not have a statute of repose, there is an argument that a state statute of repose does not apply to FTCA cases. Federal courts have visited this issue over the last few years with differing opinions.

Statute of Repose and Waivers

In some states, the statute of repose is considered an affirmative defense. This means that if the government fails to raise it, it may be waived.

Examples of Military Medical Malpractice Cases

The medical malpractice attorneys at Archuleta Law Firm have over 28 years of experience handling medical malpractice claims and cases against the U.S. government. Our team is dedicated to helping our clients who have suffered from many types of injuries from military medical malpractice. Here are just a few examples of the types of malpractice cases we’ve handled:

Where are Military Medical Hospitals and Facilities?

Military service members or active duty members such as those in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and veterans of all military branches could be affected by military medical malpractice.  Here are just a few examples of military hospitals and medical facilities.

Army Hospitals and Medical Facilities

The following are a few examples of army hospitals and medical facilities:

  • DiLorenzo Army Health Clinic, Pentagon
  • Dunham Army Health Clinic, Carlisle Barracks, PA
  • Guthrie Medical Department Activity, Ft Drum, NY
  • Ireland Army Community Hospital, Ft Knox, KY
  • Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic
  • Martin Army Community Hospital (MACH)
  • Moncrief Army Community Hospital
  • BG Crawford F. Sams U.S. Army Health Clinic, Camp Zama, JP
  • Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI

See a list of Army Hospitals and Medical Facilities here.

Navy Hospitals and Medical Facilities

Here are a few examples of Navy hospitals and medical facilities:

  • Naval Medical Logistics Command – Ft. Detrick, MD
  • Naval Medical Research Center – Silver Spring, MD
  • Naval Medical Research Center – Asia – Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Naval Hospital, Beaufort – Beaufort, SC
  • Naval Hospital, Bremerton – Bremerton, WA
  • 1st Dental Battalion – Camp Pendleton, CA
  • 2nd Dental Battalion – Camp Lejeune, NC
  • Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton – Camp Pendleton, CA
  • Naval Hospital, Lemoore – Lemoore, CA

See a list of Navy Hospitals and Medical Facilities here.

Air Force Hospitals and Medical Facilities

Here are a few examples of Air Force hospitals and medical facilities:

  • Beale AFB – 9th MDG – California
  • Buckley AFB – 460th MDG – Colorado
  • Cannon AFB – 27th MDG – New Mexico
  • Scott AFB – 375th MDG – Illinois
  • Seymour Johnson AFB – 4th MDG – North Carolina
  • Wright-Patterson AFB – WPAFB Medical Center – Ohio
  • Yokota AB – 374th – MDG – Japan
  • Kunsan AB – 8th – MDG – S. Korea
  • Osan AB – 51st – MDG – S. Korea

See a list of Air Force Hospitals and Medical Facilities here.

Overseas Military Hospitals and Medical Facilities

Here are a few examples of overseas military hospitals and medical facilities:

  • US Army Health Clinic, Camp Darby, Livorno (Italy)
  • US Army Health Clinic, Livorno (Italy)
  • US Army Health Clinic, Vicenza (Italy)
  • US Army Health Clinic, Camp Zama (Japan)
  • US Naval Branch Medical Clinic, Atsugi (Japan)
  • US Army Hospital-Heidelberg (Germany)
  • US Army Hospital-Wurzberg (Germany)
  • Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (Kaiserslautern) (Germany)

See a list of Overseas Military Hospitals and Medical Facilities here.

Filing a Claim

If you choose to pursue an FTCA claim against the U.S. government, you should  consider the following:

  • Filing a military medical malpractice claim is extremely time-sensitive because of the FTCA’s statute of limitations. Individuals who desire to pursue legal action or file a lawsuit against the military will need to file within two years, or their claim will be barred.
  • Medical malpractice cases involve a substantial review of medical records and documentation. You should gather as much evidence as you can. This helps a military medical malpractice lawyer evaluate your case.
  • FTCA claims must first go through an administrative claims process. This process requires a thorough review of the facts and evidence surrounding your claim. A military medical malpractice lawyer can help with presenting your claim to the government. The Archuleta Law Firm provides free case evaluations, and there is no fee if there is no recovery.

Military Medical Malpractice Lawyer – Contact Us For a Free Consultation

If you (active duty service members, reserved, or retired veterans) or your loved one has experienced medical malpractice while receiving care at a military medical center and wish to file a medical malpractice claim against the U.S. government, call us immediately at (800) 798-9529 or contact us here. Archuleta Law Firm offers a free consultation to evaluate your case. Our lead attorney, Michael Archuleta, is a medical doctor and lawyer with legal and medical expertise. He has over 30 years of experience representing Veterans and Servicemembers against the United States Government and has helped recover millions of dollars in compensation for medical malpractice victims.

Military Medical Malpractice Settlements

Archuleta Law Firm has helped clients receive millions in their FTCA military medical malpractice claims. Contact us today to get help.

Free Military Medical Malpractice Case Evaluation

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Client Reviews

March / 2020

The Archuleta Law Firm is excellent. They kept us updated every step of the way. They were straightforward with us throughout the process. They are very thorough and professional. We are so thankful. They care and it shows. Mr. Archuleta looks out for his client's best interests. He fights for justice! We were blessed to have him and his team on our side.

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May / 2020

The archuleta law firm is excellent. my case with the VA went perfect with no problems throughout the entire process. I can't thank Michael enough for the awesome job that he did and the hard work. He exceeded my expectations with little resources to work with in reference to my case. I had absolutely no issues throughout the whole process he kept me informed at all times and was very honest. Thank you Michael archuleta for fighting for me and helping me out saying what I deserve. I recommend this law firm to anyone who wishes to win their case.

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June / 2020

There is little question that I would not have won my lawsuit against the VA without the assistance of the Archuleta Law Firm. Given the unethical practice of the VA lawyer my lawyer had to be fierce in negotiations and prevailed. I highly appreciate their efforts and recommend them to other Vets needing professional help.

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May / 2020

I originally passed up Archuleta because I thought I would have better service from a local attorney. I have never been so wrong. The local attorney told me that they did not believe I would win my FTCA case. I called Archuleta, and their team was wonderful. Not only did they agressively take on and win my case, but they contacted me every step of the way.

I was afraid because I have never had to secure the help of an attorney, but this experience has totally changed my mind. I would truly recommend Archuleta to anyone.

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October 2020

Marion and Michael were great to work with! Highly recommend this law firm. They kept us updated and answered questions in a timely manner.

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Video Transcript

It costs no more for a client to come to the Archuleta Law Firm than to a law firm with no experience in the Federal Tort Claims Act. Our law office is skilled at communicating with clients, whether on the computer, whether by telephone or in-person. We welcome clients from all over the world.

— Dr. Michael Archuleta