Soldier still waiting for medical malpractice compensation – For the Military – Khawam Ripka LLP

Soldier still waiting for medical malpractice compensation

MSG Richard Stayskal The Stayskal Act

Andrew Dorn, Evyn MoonPosted: APR 26, 2022 / 06:57 PM CDT | Updated: APR 27, 2022 / 08:56 AM CDTjavascript:false

(NewsNation) — More than two years after a Green Beret master sergeant helped overturn a rule that blocked active duty service members from suing the federal government for medical malpractice in military facilities, almost nobody has been paid, including him.

Now, the Purple Heart recipient Richard Stayskal is running out of time. The husband and father of two has terminal Stage IV lung cancer — a diagnosis his doctors initially missed.

In January 2017, Stayskal started coughing up blood. He went to the Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where military doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia. Six months later, as symptoms persisted, he visited a civilian physician who broke the news: he had been misdiagnosed.

Doctors had missed a mass on his lung that appeared on a previous scan. Now, the situation was far more serious. He had metastatic lung cancer.

MSG Richard Stayskal The Stayskal Act
Click to see interview.

Faced with almost certain death, Stayskal went looking for answers from the military, but the response, he says, was indifference.

“It was upsetting,” Stayskal told NewsNation. “[The doctor] probably could have set aside his rank for a second and given me a hug and a handshake and said, ‘I’m so sorry. I’m going to look into this’ and we’d never be here.”Biden to send additional $800M in military aid to Ukraine 

That was the catalyst that sent Stayskal to testify on Capitol Hill, fighting a 1950 Supreme Court decision that prevented active duty service members from suing the federal government for medical malpractice.

An old rule, called the Feres Doctrine, was intended to protect the Department of Defense from bad medical decisions in tense combat situations but ultimately extended to all aspects of the military’s medical system.

Effectively blocked from justice, Stayskal went to Washington, D.C., and testified before Congress, sharing the story of the negligence that will likely cost him his life.

“It’s a mistake that allowed an aggressive tumor to double in size that robbed my life and the life of

my family,” Stayskal said before Congress in 2019. “When my children say ‘Why is this happening?’ … there’s no good answer. That’s why I am up here before you.”

Over a year later, he won.

In 2019, Congress passed the Richard Stayskal Military Accountability Act, authorizing $400 million over the next decade for the Department of Defense to pay out malpractice claims such as Stayskal’s.

For the first time, active duty members of the military could seek restitution for malpractice suffered at DOD medical facilities in certain cases.3 Navy sailors from aircraft carrier found dead within week 

But since the interim rule took effect last July, hundreds are still waiting for compensation, including the bill’s namesake, Stayskal himself.

In fact, if Stayskal dies before the Department of Defense pays his claim, his wife won’t be supported; only his two daughters will be eligible.

“You know, it’s like you’re pulling away from life again, and I kind of thought it was over with all that,” Stayskal says.

He and his lawyer are back in Washington this week, pushing the DOD to answer for the delayed payments.

“They’re just waiting for them to die off and it’s wrong. And I’m here now to just say it’s not going to happen anymore,” says attorney Natalie Khawam.

In response to questions by NewsNation, the Pentagon issued this statement:

“There is no “typical” or “normal” processing time for a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice claims often involve the review of voluminous medical records and other evidence, as well as interviews of medical providers, claimants, witnesses, and expert medical consultants. The time taken to process any claim depends upon the complexity of the facts. The Army is in regular communication with MSG Stayskal’s counsel as it continues to work the claim to completion.”

The Secretary of the Army is set to meet with Khawam at the Pentagon on Wednesday.

© 1998 – 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Follow Us

More Post

Here at Khawam Ripka, we are passionate about helping heroes in the military get the attention and financial compensation they, and their families, deserve.

If you or someone you love has been a victim of military medical malpractice, we would be honored to represent them and their family in their claim.

Watch how Attorney Natalie Khawam fought for a decorated Green Beret

Play Video

Free Case Review

Share your experience and we will call you
If you were Active-duty within the last 2 years, we can help.

Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions

Your privacy is important to Khawam Ripka, LLP and its affiliated companies (hereinafter collectively referred to as “we,” “us,” “our” or “Khawam Ripka, LLP”). Because your privacy is our concern, we have developed this Privacy Policy to inform you about Khawam Ripka, LLP’s privacy practices. This Privacy Policy covers how we collect, use, disclose, transfer, and store your information. The examples in this Privacy Policy are illustrative only and are not intended to be exhaustive.

INFORMATION COLLECTED

We use the term “Personal Information” to mean any information that could reasonably be used to identify you, including your name, address, telephone number(s), driver’s license number, occupation, date of birth, social security number, personal or business tax identification numbers, legal information (such as judgment, liens, bankruptcies, etc.), credit history, and medical information (such as your health status and treatment history). The information we obtain depends on the context of your interactions with us. We may obtain such information directly from you on our website (the “Site”) or by telephone, and/or from applications, contracts, documents and forms you complete or sign. We may obtain additional information about you or, with your authorization, about others who may have an interest in your insurance or annuity policy, from your insurance or annuity company, insurance producer, health care providers, creditors, credit reporting agencies, and from your representatives or advisors. We may also obtain information about you from public records and, with your authorization, from other persons.

We use the term “Anonymous Information” to mean any information that does not identify you, and may include, for example, aggregated demographic information and statistical information concerning how you and other visitors use our website (the “Site”).

USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

We use the Personal Information you provide for purposes of the transactions or information that you request. As permitted by law, or as authorized by you, we may share your Personal Information with affiliated and non-affiliated companies that provide services related to information or transactions you request, under the following additional circumstances: (i) for us to establish or exercise our legal rights or to defend against legal claims; (ii) in connection with a proposed or actual sale, merger, transfer, exchange or consolidation of Khawam Ripka, LLP, an affiliated company or any portion thereof; (iii) to secure or obtain services and/or advice from our attorneys, accountants and auditors; and (iv) to permit our affiliates to contact you about products or services. We may also disclose your Personal Information to others for other purposes, with your authorization or otherwise as required or permitted by law.

Maintaining the accuracy of your information is a shared responsibility. We maintain the integrity of the information you provide us and will update your records when you notify us of a change. Please contact us at the address or phone number listed below when information concerning you changes.

USE OF ANONYMOUS INFORMATION

We may share Anonymous Information with our partners and resources.

FORMER CONTACTS OR INQUIRIES

We treat information obtained from past contacts and inquiries in the same manner we treat information that we obtain through current or future contacts or inquiries.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND SECURITY

We restrict access to your Personal Information to our employees who need this information in connection with your current or future transaction(s) or to provide you information that you may request from us. We maintain electronic, procedural, and physical safeguards to guard your nonpublic information. We take precautions to protect your information, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. While the computers/servers in which we store your Personal Information are kept in a secure environment, we cannot guarantee absolute security.

UPDATES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

We reserve the right to change this privacy policy at any time. If our information practices change, we will post the changed policy to our website. These privacy principles do not constitute a contract, create legal rights, or supersede any preexisting agreements with clients.

“COOKIES”

We use “cookies” on this site. A cookie is a piece of data stored on a site visitor’s hard drive to help us improve your access to our site and identify repeat visitors to our site. For instance, when we use a cookie to identify you, you would not have to log in a password more than once, thereby saving time while on our site. Cookies can also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our site. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally identifiable information on our site. Note that your browser settings may allow you to automatically transmit a “Do Not Track” signal to websites and online services you visit. There is no consensus among industry participants as to what “Do Not Track” means in this context. Like many websites, Khawam Ripka, LLP currently does not alter its practices when it receives a “Do Not Track” signal from a visitor’s browser.

LINKING

Our Site may contain links to other affiliated websites. Because we do not control the content of websites linking to or from our Site, we are not responsible nor can we make representations regarding the content of those websites or their individual privacy policies. We encourage you to read the privacy policies of any website that links to or from our Site that collects personally identifiable information.