Lung cancer missed on CT prompts $10M lawsuit against U.S. government

As a result of a misread CT scan, a North Carolina Congressman is planning to draft legislation that would allow military personnel to sue the U.S. military and federal government for injuries incidental to military service, according to a recent report by FOX 46 Charlotte.

Sergeant First Class, Richard Stayskal, 37, a Green Beret from North Carolina, was awarded the Purple Heart when he was shot in the lung while serving in Iraq in 2004. He is now pursuing a $10 million lawsuit against the federal government for medical malpractice, claiming his initial CT scan for the injury was misread, and due to delay in care, resulted in his diagnosis of stage four terminal lung cancer, according to the report.  

Physicians at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina allegedly failed to detect an abnormality from Stayskal's CT scan he had in January 2017. After another misdiagnosis of pneumonia and continued delay in care, six months later Stayskal went to a civilian doctor for a CT scan who detected then metastasized lung cancer.  

"It was completely obvious," board-certified radiologist, Louis Leskosky, MD, told FOX Charlotte in an additional report, who has reviewed the scans and was hired by Stayskal’s attorneys to testify in court. "A first-year resident would have seen this. I can't fathom how any experienced radiologist missing this case."  

Stayskal's suit will unlikely go to court, however, because of the 1950 Supreme Court decision Feres Doctrine, which prevents active duty U.S. Military personnel from suing the government for medical malpractice. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-Concord met with Stayskal and is now considering a law that would change the Feres Doctrine and allow soldiers the ability to sue the government under certain conditions, according to the article.  

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