Monday, June 20, 2011

Feres Doctrine Revisited

Our own (and CAAFlog's) Mike Navarre (aka No Man) and Major General (retired) John Altenburg are both quoted in a Stars and Stripes article yesterday that presents the heart-wrenching facts of the latest cases stemming from allegations of military medical malpractice.  In the most prominent pending case, SSgt Dean Witt's family hopes to overturn the Feres doctrine at the US Supreme Court.  Witt died after a colossal series of medical mistakes stemming from an appendectomy.  Here are the brief filed on behalf of Witt's widow at the 9th Circuit and the 9th Circuit opinionHere are the briefs filed at SCOTUS.

For decades, the Feres case has blocked military members (and, by extension, their family members asserting the servicemembers' claims) from being able to successfully sue the government for wrongs done to the member connected to their military service or occurring while the individual is in the military.  I don't see the law changing any time soon.