High Court Asks for Information in Potential Landmark Military Medical Malpractice Case

High Court Asks for Information in Potential Landmark Military Medical Malpractice CaseThe U.S. Supreme Court recently asked for more information in a case that could have major ramifications for service members seeking to file medical malpractice lawsuits.

The Feres Doctrine prevents service members from filing lawsuits against the government for virtually any harm they suffer while in military service, according to The Associated Press.

This doctrine has prevented the family of Air Force Staff Sergeant Dean Patrick Witt from filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. In 2003, Witt underwent a routine appendectomy but a nurse put his breathing tube in his esophagus rather than his trachea. This action resulted in Witt's brain being deprived of oxygen; his family removed him from life support three months later.

The high court is seeking more information about the case and will decide whether or not to hear it next month.

"We've given them a case that presents them with the best opportunity to fix this in a long time," the medical malpractice attorney representing the Witts told the news source.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the normal recovery time for an appendectomy is typically a few weeks.