Army Sued After Sergent’s Suicide
The family of a Fort Hood soldier has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the Army after the man took his own life. While the family is not disputing that the soldier killed himself, they believe that the way the army handled his mental health concerns played a prominent role in his suicide.
According to the family, the decedent was taken to Fort Hood’s medical center with suicidal ideation. The family says that the soldier suffered severe harassment after reporting sexual harassment. The man’s complaints were not treated seriously and he was discharged with no meaningful plan for support.
Understanding the lawsuit
This is a complex lawsuit because it involves firstly, a violation of the soldier’s civil rights on the matter of sexual harassment and secondly, a violation of the soldier’s civil rights under the ADA. Lastly, involves an element of medical malpractice, wrongful discharge, and psychiatric malpractice. However, the foundation of the civil suit is that the soldier was harassed, excluded, and punished for reporting sexual harassment committed by one of his commanding officers. The soldier claims he was “touched in the buttocks” without his consent. It is unclear who the allegations were filed against, but the Army determined that there was insubstantial evidence to corroborate such a claim.
Recently, however, another lawsuit has been filed against the Army related to the death of a female soldier who was allegedly raped and murdered by a fellow soldier. The military has its own way of doing things, and social isolation, or simple bullying, tends to dissuade individuals from filing sexual harassment claims against their fellow soldiers. The matter has become a serious problem for the military which is now expected to pay out claims related to military sexual trauma, or rape that occurs in the context of the military. Traditionally, the military has buried such claims in fears that it would reduce recruitment. However, this has resulted in the problem ballooning to epidemic proportions, and now soldiers are winding up dead. The problem will not be solved until the military cares more about its soldiers than it does its reputation. That would also likely fix the reputational problems the military currently has.
Nonetheless, this is exactly what you would expect from the army dealing with a soldier who has reported sexual misconduct. Now, the family is suing over the failure of the army to take their son’s allegations seriously or his complaints concerning his mental health.
Suing the military
It is currently possible to sue the U.S. military for civil rights violations and for medical malpractice. The Feres Doctrine prevented members of the U.S. military from filing personal injury lawsuits for injuries suffered in the line of duty. However, the Feres Doctrine was also interpreted to include VA medical malpractice that occurred years after a soldier was retired. Today, that barrier has been lifted allowing soldiers to sue the VA for medical malpractice.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Payer Law represents the interests of those who have lost loved ones to negligence. Call today to schedule a free consultation with our Miami personal injury lawyers and we can begin discussing your allegations immediately.