Posted on Apr 23, 2012
Late last month, retired Airman Colton Read, and his wife, sued the United States Government for medical malpractice. The plaintiffs allege that military doctors committed medical malpractice during Airman Read’s gallbladder surgery and that the resulting damage required civilian doctors to amputate Airman Read’s legs to save his life.

The gallbladder surgery reportedly took place on July 9, 2009, at the David Grant Medical Center at the Travis Air Force Base in Texas. It is alleged that Airman Read was going to have his gallbladder removed prior to deployment and that a surgeon mistakenly lacerated his aorta. It is further alleged that other medically negligent mistakes were made, and that Airman Read did not get proper care until he was transferred to a civilian hospital approximately 9 hours after the beginning of his operation. The complaint lists 23 reasons why the U.S. Air Force should be liable for what happened to Airman Read. The complaint also seeks $34.3 million in damages for Airman Read for pain, loss of earning capacity, physical impairment, disfigurement and mental anguish. Additionally, $20.5 million in damages is sought for Colton Read’s wife, Jessica, for loss of household services of her husband, loss of a normal relationship with her husband and loss of enjoyment of life or loss of capacity to enjoy life.

This case is significant to the Read family and also to other military families around the country and abroad since it challenges legal precedent that protects the U.S. Government from being sued for negligence by members of the military. This protection, known as the Feres Doctrine, has been in place for about 60 years.

Our Georgia medical malpractice lawyers will be watching this case on behalf of members of the armed services who may have been hurt by medical negligence in Georgia.

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