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Most of the time injured soldiers and families of soldiers who die during military service can’t file suit. A rule of law called the Feres Doctrine prevents injured soldiers and their families from suing the military. The doctrine comes from the U.S. Supreme Court case Feres v. United States, in which servicemen who picked up highly radioactive weapons fragments from a crashed airplane were not permitted to recover damages from the government.

However, it appears the scope of the Feres Doctrine has been narrowed. A three-judge panel in Florida has ruled a lawsuit can proceed against the operator of a plane that crashed in Afghanistan in 2004, killing three Army soldiers. The contractor operating the plane, Presidential Airways Inc., is the aviation subsidiary of Moyock, N.C.-based Blackwater USA.

This case creates a huge opportunity for soldiers and their families to get the justice they deserve when they’re injured as a result of the negligence of a contractor for the military.

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