Presently, US military personnel who are injured as a result of the negligence of a doctor or healthcare practitioner have no legal recourse. This may change now that the US Supreme Court is considering whether it will hear a case involving a 29-year old sergeant whose skin cancer was detected but never reported to him. Sgt. Carmelo Rodriguez later died as a result of the skin cancer. Since his death, Rodriguez’s family has been fighting for the right to seek justice in a court of law. However, they have had no luck in their pursuit.
Now, a new case has been brought before the Court that may allow military personnel to seek civil justice when they are harmed due to medical errors. According to CBS, “the challenge is being brought forward by the family of Sacramento based Airman Dean Witt, who was diagnosed with acute appendicitis. He survived the surgery only to have breathing complications, where a nurse stuck a breathing tube down his esophagus instead of his trachea. Witt’s brain starved for oxygen, leaving him in a persistent vegetative state.”
A decision may come as early as Monday.
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