Wife Sues For Damages After Husband’s Wrongful Death At Sacramento Hospital, Part 2 of 3

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.)


Preliminarily, plaintiffs characterization of the line of duty determination as being made where a soldier is possibly under the stress of a his/her time in combat in Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine, p.l, is extremely limiting and somewhat biased. While many soldiers certainly do experience stress “related to their military service,” it is not a given that they will also attempt to end their lives under non-combat situations such as those in this case. More importantly however, plaintiff glosses over the fact that the Line of Duty determination is in fact, an investigation. The past difficulties are relevant for the jury’s consideration of whether plaintiffs economic damages claim have any merit, and to what degree. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

As a pre-existing medical condition, the military failed to prevent the current hospitalization with significant therapy and medication prescriptions. This is probative of whether Mr. Hill could have been expected to return to military service at any point in the future, and whether the military could offer Mr. Hill the assistance he needed, among other things. Plaintiff cannot claim that Defendants should have inquired into this history to establish liability, while precluding defendants from utilizing the same information for purposes of causation and damages.

A Line of Duty (LOD) determination is an administrative tool for determining a member’s duty status at the time an injury, illness, disability, or death is incurred. This investigation is generally conducted whenever a soldier acquires a disease, incurs a significant injury or is injured under unusual circumstances.

There is a presumption that all diseases, injuries or deaths occur in the line of duty – not due to own misconduct. However, a LOD investigation helps determine a soldier’s entitlement to pay and allowances, accrual of service and leave time and, in some cases, disability retirement. A soldier receives these benefits only if the final determination is in line of duty – not due to own misconduct.

Once all of the evidence (witness statements, medical records, police reports, etc.) is gathered, the investigating officer reviews it carefully and is required to make one of three determinations concerning your status-(1) in the line of duty- not due to own misconduct ; (2) not in the line of duty- not due to own misconduct ; or, (3) not in the line of duty- due to own misconduct. If the injury or disease is caused by the soldier’s intentional misconduct or willful negligence, the investigating officer may determine the soldier’s injury or.disease to be not in the line of duty – due to own misconduct. Willful negligence is the conscious and intentional omission of the proper degree of care under the circumstances. Factors leading to adverse determinations include: whether the soldier was under the influence of alcohol or drugs; whether he was the aggressor or voluntarily participated in a fight; or whether he acted in a manner considered extremely erratic or reckless without regard for his personal safety or the safety of others. (See Part 3 of 3.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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