May 19, 2009

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House Judiciary Subcommittee approves Hinchey’s military medical malpractice bill

WASHINGTON – The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law Tuesday approved Congressman Maurice Hinchey’s bill that would allow armed service members and their families to sue the military for negligent medical care.

Current law now prohibits legal action in those cases.

Hinchey’s bill is named for Carmelo Rodriguez, a Marine sergeant from Ellenville who died from a misdiagnosed melanoma on his buttocks while serving in Iraq in 2007. He was 29.

The full House Judiciary Committee is expected to take up the bill before the end of July.

Hinchey’s bill would reverse a 1950 US Supreme Court ruling stating that military members and their families have no right or ability to sue the military for negligent military care given them during their service.

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