Claims Against the Federal Government (FTCA)

Medical negligence committed by the government against a military dependent can be pursued under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). Under FTCA, a dependent of an active duty military member who is injured or dies as a result of medical negligence by military medical personnel can pursue a claim in negligence. The attorneys at Pierce & Thornton have successfully handled medical negligence cases against the Federal government and have experience in Federal court, which is where a FTCA case must be filed.

Active duty military personnel injured by medical negligence at a military hospital (for example, Portsmouth Naval Hospital) cannot sue the government. The law that prevents this type of lawsuit, no matter how negligent or even willfully reckless the conduct by the government in providing medical care, came from the United States Supreme Court case Feres v. United States. The reasoning behind the Feres doctrine is that it protects the government from costly, time-consuming trials that could also damage military discipline.

The steps for pursuing such a claim differ from an ordinary state court medical negligence case. A Standard Form 95 must be filed with the applicable branch of the government (for example, the Department of the Navy) within two years of the date of the negligence. Even if the victim of the medical negligence is a minor, this claim form must be filed within two years of the negligence.

Pierce & Thornton has experience in representing dependents who have been victims of medical negligence. Our attorneys will first determine whether the government is the proper party to name in the potential lawsuit or whether the government was using a private contractor to render healthcare. Several matters need to be investigated to pursue a Federal tort claims case, so you should not delay in contacting Pierce & Thornton if you wish to investigate the case. For examples of Federal Tort Claims Act and other medical negligence cases we have handled, go to Our Successes.

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Jon...You carry yourself professionally...and very ethically. That's most important to me as I look at cases and speak with attorneys...Seeking the truth is a noble cause. Too bad it often takes much time and monies to get there...All the best,

Dr. M.H.

To David . . . Thank you for your continued diligence and advice on this law suit. Thanks to you and your staff. I have recouped my expenses and lost wages due to the injuries I received in my accident. I enjoyed working with your group and will recommend you to friends in the future. God Bless You...


I strongly recommend the law firm of Pierce & Thornton to anyone who needs a wrong righted . . . The attorney who represented me and my loved ones, Jon L. Thornton, did a great job. Jon Thornton . . . is a man of great passion. It's more than a case to Jon Thornton, he represents you as if it...


David, thanks again for a well managed and successful case outcome. It was a pleasure working with you. I never felt like we were out of the loop. We are glad it is behind us but I will miss discussing the case with you. It was always a pleasure talking with you.


I am very pleased with the resolution of this claim and feel blessed beyond measure. I just don't know how we can ever thank you enough for everything you did for us to receive justice for the death of our dear mother. May God richly bless you in all things.


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