Element of payable claim: proximate cause.

Checkout our iOS App for a better way to browser and research.

§ 45.7 Element of payable claim: proximate cause.

(a) In general.

(1) In a case otherwise payable under this part, a claimant must prove by a preponderance of evidence that a negligent or wrongful act or omission by one or more DoD health care providers was the proximate cause of the harm suffered by the member.

(2) Under section 2733a(c)(1), DoD is liable for only the portion of compensable injury, loss, or damages attributable to the medical malpractice of a DoD health care provider. To the extent other causes contributed to the personal injury or death of the member, whether pre-existing, concurrent, or subsequent, the potential amount of compensation under this regulation will be reduced by that proportion of the alternative cause(s).

(b) Comparative negligence. A rule of modified comparative negligence will apply to claims under this part. If a claimant was contributorily negligent in relation to the health care provided, damages will be reduced by the proportion of fault assigned to the Service member. If the claimant's own negligence constituted more than 50% of the fault, the claim is not payable.

(c) Loss of chance or failure to diagnose. A claimant may recover for loss of chance for a more favorable clinical outcome in the diagnosis and treatment of his or her illness or injury. The claimant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that one or more DoD health care providers in a covered MTF acting within the scope of employment had a professional duty to the claimant and by act or omission breached that duty and proximately caused harm. In proving that the claimant suffered harm, the claimant must prove that the lost chance for a better outcome or the failure to diagnose a condition is attributable to the provider or providers. The claimant must prove a substantial loss as opposed to a theoretical or de minimis loss. The portion of harm attributable to the breach of duty will be the percentage of chance lost in proportion to the overall clinical outcome. Damages will be calculated based on this portion of harm.

(d) Information DoD will consider in assessing proximate cause.

(1) In addition to the information submitted by the claimant, DoD may consider all relevant information in DoD records or information systems or otherwise available to DoD, including information prepared by or on behalf of DoD in connection with adjudication of the claim.

(2) DoD will consider medical quality assurance records relevant to the health care provided to the patient. DoD's Clinical Quality Management Program features reviews of many circumstances of clinical care. Results of any such reviews of the care involved in the claim that occurred before or after the claim was filed may be considered by DoD in the adjudication of the claim. As required by 10 U.S.C. 1102, DoD medical quality assurance records are confidential. While such records may be used by DoD, any information contained in or derived from such records may not be disclosed to the claimant.

Download our app to see the most-to-date content.