Statement in Support of Law Correcting an Injustice Against US Service Members
Corboy & Demetrio proudly supports the SFC Richard Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act of 2019, federal legislation that would allow U.S. Military members to hold the government accountable for medical errors and substandard medical care by military medical providers outside of combat zones.
The bill would partially abolish the Feres Doctrine, established nearly 70 years ago in a U.S. Supreme Court decision that prevents active members of the U.S. Armed Services from filing lawsuits for injuries they sustain incident to their service. The doctrine, originally intended to prevent lawsuits regarding military decisions made by commanders and other military matters, has expanded over time to bar any active duty servicemember from recovering for injuries caused by the negligence of virtually any other government employee, even for routine medical care completely unrelated to the military mission.
“The U.S. government should not be immune from the responsibility it owes to the very men and women who fight so bravely to protect these freedoms for every citizen of this country,” said Kenneth T. Lumb, Managing Partner at Corboy & Demetrio and a past Chair of the American Association for Justice’s (AAJ) Federal Tort and Military Advocacy Section .
“We also applaud the AAJ’s advocacy and efforts to educate the public about the bill, which is receiving bipartisan support and can put an end to this injustice,” Lumb added.
Lumb served four years on active duty in the US Army’s JAG Corps as a Medical Claims Judge Advocate and over 18 years in the Reserves. He was mobilized in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and spent six months on active duty at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Corboy & Demetrio Co-founder, Thomas A. Demetrio, also served six years in the Army Reserve.
“Reinstituting the right to file a civil lawsuit against medical providers will deter negligence and, most importantly, help restore the lives of our brave military men and women who already laid their lives on the line once,” Demetrio said.
Lumb and Demetrio both practice in the area of medical malpractice.