Doctrine bars lawsuit over death of soldier's son - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Doctrine bars lawsuit over death of soldier's son

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By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A federal appeals court is upholding the dismissal of a lawsuit that claims the Army caused the death of a newborn by ordering his pregnant mother to conduct physical training against doctors' instructions.

January Ritchie was about 5 ½ months pregnant when she went into premature labor while stationed in Hawaii in 2006. Her son died 30 minutes later. Her husband filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals "regretfully" issued their opinion Thursday. The ruling criticizes a doctrine that prevents civil action against the government for those injured during military service.

The court says it's unfortunate the doctrine bars the lawsuit.

The Ritchies now live in Tacoma, Wash. Their Honolulu attorney plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court.

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