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Why Can't Troops Sue for Malpractice? (Video)

Staff Sgt. Dean Witt
Staff Sgt. Dean Witt

Federal law prohibits servicemembers who believe they've been victims of malpractice from suing military doctors. But a case that could soon go before the U.S. Supreme Court aims to change this.

According to the Stars and Stripes, the lawsuit was brought by the family of a California native named Staff Sgt. Dean Witt, who died after a botched appendectomy:

The legal precedent that protects military doctors from malpractice is called the Feres Doctrine, and it's been around for 60 years. No lawmaker has stepped forward in that time to attempt to change the Doctrine in a legislative way. Interestingly enough, servicemembers can sue military doctors for malpractice, but only if the injured party is a family member of someone in the military.


The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide whether to hear sometime this month. We'll keep you posted...