It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.
(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this wrongful death case and its proceedings.)
The consequences of this Line of Duty determination can be significant. If a soldier was not present for duty due to hospitalization for example, this time must be made up and directly affects the soldier’s Estimated Time of Separation (ETS) date. Moreover, if there are any complications from an injury that was deemed not in the line of duty, the Veteran’s Affairs may determine that the soldier is not eligible for VA benefits, disability benefits or medical treatment for the injury.
Here, the relevance of this investigation and determination of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Hill’s unusual demise by the military cannot be overstated, yet plaintiff seeks to exclude this evidence. Any evidence related to this determination is probative of the issues of consequence in this litigation. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
Mr. Hill’s death occurred while he was absent from the military, and under strange or doubtful circumstances. His LOD determination may have significant impact on benefits such as Survivor Benefit Plan, disability retirement and severance pay, etc. Plaintiff Stella Hill is the surviving spouse of the decedent and receives compensation from the military in the form of VA benefits, spousal retirement and family survivor benefits.
Because she is specifically seeking economic damages in this case based on Mr. Hill’s expected income and benefits had he survived, the military’s Line of Duty determination with respect to benefits is directly relevant to the issue of damages.
For all the reasons articulated above, Defendants should be able to put forth evidence of whether a Line of Duty investigation was conducted on Mr. Hill as well as the results and report of any such determination. Defendants particularly seek to admit any and all statements of Stella Hill contained within the Line of Duty Report.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.