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Can a military spouse take legal action towards the military for pain and suffering?

Honolulu, HI |
Filed under: Military law

My husband was given medication by a military doctor for restlessness and nervousness after going through training, He was very stressed out. So they gave him antianxiety medication. After a week noitced some abnormal movements which he never had even before he started the meds. The next week the doctor increased his medication even after my husband told them that he wasn't feeling right. We've been to the the er many times and was in and out of the hospital for the last 7 months. I went to every appointment after he went to the er and now they say they don't know what to do. They said that they may have to send him to a military hospital which we were there for 2 weeks during the summer and 4 months later they said that we should not have left. Can I sue for pain and suffering?

Attorney Answers 1


Unfortunately no, the Feres doctrine (named after the 1950 Supreme Court case) prohibits military members and their family members from suing the government due to medical malpractice. Unfortunately this doctrine serves to bar service members and their families from collecting damages for personal injuries to the service member. However, the Feres doctrine does not bar claims if negligence results in direct injury to a family (non-service member)member due to medical negligence or other claims. But, in the above situation claims are prohibited as the primary injury is to your husband, and not directly to you. There is a movement in congress now to allow for these type suits in medical malpractice case, but it has not passed and is unlikely to do so in the near future (in my opinion). Thank you and your husband for your service.
Ed Spinks
From the desk of T. Edmund Spinks, Esq. P.L.
304 Plant Ave. S. Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606
Phn: 813-254-2770 Fax: 813-254-2772

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