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After watching a recent episode of Boston Legal, I became interested in the Feres doctrine. This doctrine stems from the Supreme Court case Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135 (1950).

In the Feres case the Supreme Court held that the United States is not liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act for injuries to members of the armed forces sustained while on active duty for those injuries resulting from the negligence of other members of the armed forces.

As you can imagine this doctrine comes into play in a number of medical malpractice cases. Based upon the holding of the Supreme Court, a military doctor can commit blatant malpractice without being held accountable. In essence, this doctrine bars active members or their families from successfully receiving damages for personal injuries resulting from the negligence of military doctors.

I truly do understand the arguments from both sides, however, this doctrine was established in 1950, more than 58 years ago. Don’t you think its time our brave members of the armed forces get the compensation that they deserve.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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