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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 20128
Experience:  Licensed attorney and former Navy JAG serving ashore, afloat and at the OJAG
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Can you sue the military if they neglect signs of suicide and

Customer Question

Can you sue the military if they neglect signs of suicide and put member back to work only to have the member actually commit suicide?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. The answer is a qualified yes. What I mean by that, is that if the "you" is a legal heir of the military servicemember and someone working for, or in, the military was negligent in their actions that led to the suicide of the servicemember, then the heir can file a claim under the Federal Torts Claim Act (FTCA). That claim, which is filed on an SF 95 is a jurisdictional prerequisite to filing suit. That means that it must be filed with the agency that would be responsible and they must either reject the claim or 6 months must have passed without action. In those cases, suit can then be filed. Sometimes though, the agency will accept liability and offer a settlement under the Act when they receive a claim.
That isn't likely in a case like this, but it can happen. The heir though will want to get this SF 95 submitted as soon as possible since they have a two year statute of limitations on filing the claim. They will also want to consult with a local law firm that practices in the area of Federal Tort Claims. You can read more about this process, etc., by going to the following link. I am not endorsing this law firm, but their write up is very informative.
Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 1st. For some unknown reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (in the pop up box, which is how we get credit (paid) for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.
In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:
Thank you.

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