The question before us is whether Ritchie’s wrongful death claim against the Army falls within the reach of the Feres doctrine. In light of Supreme Court and our own precedent, we regretfully conclude that it does. We therefore affirm.
The facts of this case are straightforward and uncontested. Ritchie’s complaint alleges that his wife, January Ritchie, was pregnant with their son Gregory while she was serving as a specialist on active duty with the United States Army. In June 2006, while January was stationed in Missouri, an Army physician created a “pregnancy profile” for her, which imposed a number of restrictions on her activities. Among other things, it indicated that January should not carry and fire weapons, move with “fighting loads,” engage in heavy lifting or physical training (“PT”) testing, or run/walk long distances.
January was subsequently transferred to Fort Shafter, Hawaii. According to the complaint, her supervising officers at Fort Shafter were aware of her pregnancy, but repeatedly disregarded the instructions in her pregnancy profile, forcing her to engage in physical activities such as picking up trash and “battle-focused PT . . . even if she did not feel up to it.” Although January protested that she was unable to perform certain tasks due to her pregnancy, her commanding officers ignored her pleas.
Judge(s): Jacqueline H. Nguyen
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Related Categories: Government / Politics , Torts
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Plaintiff Lawyer(s)||Plaintiff Law Firm(s)|
|Defendant Lawyer(s)||Defendant Law Firm(s)|
|Marleigh Dover||U.S. Department of Justice|
|Florence Nakanuki||U.S. Department of Justice|
|Lowell Sturgill Jr.||U.S. Department of Justice|
|Tony West||U.S. Department of Justice|