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ICYMI - DOD Issues Rule on Rich Stayskal Act

June 21, 2021

“I doubt I’ll ever do anything as important as this.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Richard Hudson, Fort Bragg's Congressman, applauded a final rule issued by the U.S. Department of Defense on June 17, 2021, that will allow service members to pursue medical malpractice claims in the military. The rule follows passage of the Rich Stayskal Act, legislation Rep. Hudson helped enact as part of the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Donald Trump in Dec. 2019.

The bill is named for Sfc. Rich Stayskal, a Green Beret and Purple Heart recipient from Moore County. Rep. Hudson met Stayskal in 2018 and invited him to the 2020 State of the Union following passage of the legislation named after him.

In case you missed it, read the latest about the law:

ABC 11: DOD issues rule on act named after Fort Bragg soldier that will pay claims of medical malpractice

WASHINGTON (WTVD) -- There was a breakthrough Thursday in a Troubleshooter investigation involving a Fort Bragg soldier's fight to give service members the right to seek compensation for medical malpractice.

On Thursday, the Department of Defense published a rule on how it will process claims under the Stayskal Act. It's a big win for Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal, along with service members and their families as they will now have guidance on how claims of medical malpractice by military doctors will move forward.

Since 2018, Stayskal, along with the help of his attorney Natalie Khawam, took their fight to lawmakers in Washington DC, and thanks to bi-partisan support including North Carolina Representative Richard Hudson (R) and California Representative Jackie Spier (D-CA), the Stayskal Act passed in December of 2019.

"It's a great day for the military and for the service members to finally be able to be made whole through unfortunate situations, and hope is just one small step that will continue to grow into more rights, more deserving respect to the military," Stayskal said.

"There is no way to fix the wrong that happened. But I hope it's a little bit of a lifting of a burden for these families and individuals who are facing a terminal diagnosis and facing questions of, 'How will my wife and children survive once I'm gone?' This hopefully brings some peace of mind to those tragic stories," said Representative Richard Hudson, who first met Stayskal back in 2018 and began to advocate for passage of a law.

As for when Stayskal will see compensation from his claim filed, we know the DOD has $400 million to pay in claims, but it does not know exactly when Stayskal's claim, or the others, will be paid. Rep. Hudson says has been made aware that the DOD was working on having claims processed and ready to be paid as soon as the rule was finalized.

Read the entire article here.

Fox 46: DoD could pay military medical malpractice claims ‘within the month'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – ​After a year and a half of delays and stalling, the Pentagon is finally ready to start processing millions of dollars in military medical malpractice claims, perhaps by the end of the month, FOX 46 has learned.

"I'm still at a loss for words," said Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal. "But it's a great feeling."

It is a win for victims and their ​families who, up until now, have not had any recourse or measure of justice when it comes to botched and negligent medical care by military doctors.

"This is amazing," said Stayskal. "And I'm grateful and so happy for everyone who is going to get justice."

A series of FOX 46 investigations got the attention of lawmakers in 2018. Congressman Richard Hudson (R-Concord) co-sponsored a "landmark" bipartisan bill, introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), which was signed into law in 2019. It gives the Department of Defense $400 million to investigate and pay out military medical malpractice claims for the first time.

"They're facing terminal diagnosis now and facing questions of, ‘How will my wife and children survive once I'm gone?," said Hudson. "This hopefully brings some peace of mind to those tragic stories."

Hudson was inspired to work on the bill because of Stayskal, whose story "touched my heart."

After a year and a half of delays, the Pentagon is now poised to pay. An interim rule was issued over the weekend. Once it is published in the Federal Register, millions of dollars in claims that are languishing can begin to be paid out.

"I don't know how long I'll be in Congress," Hudson told FOX 46 investigative reporter Matt Grant. "But I doubt I'll ever do anything as important as this."

Read the entire article here.