FOX 46 viewers, service members praise military medical malpractice law

News

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s being called “landmark legislation” and a “Christmas miracle.” For Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal, it is a “relief.”

“It’s finally starting to sink in so I’m feeling pretty good,” the North Carolina Green Beret told FOX 46 on Capitol Hill last week. “A lot more smiles coming my way.”

This week President Donald Trump is expected to sign the National Defense Authorization Act. Inside is a provision that will allocate $400 million to the Department of Defense to pay out military medical malpractice claims unrelated to war or training. The measure stemmed from Stayskal’s “heroic advocacy” and a yearlong series of FOX 46 investigations. In 2017, military doctors misdiagnosed Stayskal’s lung cancer, now stage 4 terminal, as pneumonia and failed to tell him a second review of his CT scans recommended a biopsy.

After a year of lobbying lawmakers to hold negligent doctors accountable, Stayskal and his attorney, Natalie Khawam, are getting results.

“The stories you have been doing have been amazing,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Adrian Mask, who has watched FOX 46’s coverage from his home in Alabama, and says he will be helped by the pending new law. The former air traffic controller signed up after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. In 2017, he says he had two emergency open heart surgeries stemming from botched military medical care.

‘WE DID THE IMPOSSIBLE:’ SENATE PASSES MILITARY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAW

“They took me off my heart recovery medicine too soon,” he said.

He now plans to file a malpractice claim, something he couldn’t do before.

“If I’m able to fight it,” he said, “it will help out in ways I can’t even imagine.”

Under a 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres Doctrine, active-duty military are prevented from suing the government for medical malpractice. The new law will not change that but does, for the first time, offer a measure of justice previously denied to members of the armed services.

Online, FOX 46 viewers praised the bipartisan legislation.

“Good – a Doctor is a Doctor, regardless of whether military or civilian,” Karyn Z. wrote on Facebook. “If he makes a mistake, you should have the ability to make that Doctor accountable.”

“Wow what a miracle!,” wrote Jack H.

“Finally something good from our legislative branch!,” wrote Joan M.

“You are an angel. Literally,” wrote Lexi W. on Instagram. “You are spreading messages that mean so much to others!”

HISTORIC MILITARY MALPRACTICE AGREEMENT PRAISED AS ‘LANDMARK DAY’ FOR TROOPS

Mask says the new law will finally help the families of service members who were killed or injured due to botched and negligent care.

“We signed up to give our lives in defense of our country,” said Mask. “But never imagined signing up to give our lives due to medical malpractice.”

It’s being called “landmark legislation” and a “Christmas miracle.” For Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal, it is a “relief.”

“It’s finally starting to sink in so I’m feeling pretty good,” the North Carolina Green Beret told FOX 46 on Capitol Hill last week. “A lot more smiles coming my way.”

This week President Donald Trump is expected to sign the National Defense Authorization Act. Inside is a provision that will allocate $400 million to the Department of Defense to pay out military medical malpractice claims unrelated to war or training. The measure stemmed from Stayskal’s “heroic advocacy” and a yearlong series of FOX 46 investigations. In 2017, military doctors misdiagnosed Stayskal’s lung cancer, now stage 4 terminal, as pneumonia and failed to tell him a second review of his CT scans recommended a biopsy.

After a year of lobbying lawmakers to hold negligent doctors accountable, Stayskal and his attorney, Natalie Khawam, are getting results.

“The stories you have been doing have been amazing,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Adrian Mask, who has watched FOX 46’s coverage from his home in Alabama, and says he will be helped by the pending new law. The former air traffic controller signed up after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. In 2017, he says he had two emergency open heart surgeries stemming from botched military medical care.

FOLLOWING PASSAGE OF NDAA, NC GREEN BERET THANKS LAWMAKERS WHO FOUGHT FOR HIS CAUSE

“They took me off my heart recovery medicine too soon,” he said.

He now plans to file a malpractice claim, something he couldn’t do before.

“If I’m able to fight it,” he said, “it will help out in ways I can’t even imagine.”

Under a 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres Doctrine, active-duty military are prevented from suing the government for medical malpractice. The new law will not change that but does, for the first time, offer a measure of justice previously denied to members of the armed services.

Online, FOX 46 viewers praised the bipartisan legislation.

“Good – a Doctor is a Doctor, regardless of whether military or civilian,” Karyn Z. wrote on Facebook. “If he makes a mistake, you should have the ability to make that Doctor accountable.”

“Wow what a miracle!,” wrote Jack H.

“Finally something good from our legislative branch!,” wrote Joan M.

“You are an angel. Literally,” wrote Lexi W. on Instagram. “You are spreading messages that mean so much to others!”

Mask says the new law will finally help the families of service members who were killed or injured due to botched and negligent care.

“We signed up to give our lives in defense of our country,” said Mask. “But never imagined signing up to give our lives due to medical malpractice.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

More Viral