Navy Mom Seeks Accountability for Military Medical Malpractice

She said her son died from medical negligence.

Mt. Airy, MD – In December, 2017 a Navy corpsman went in for a scheduled shoulder surgery. Three days later, he was dead.

23-year-old EM3 Jordan Way of Mt. Airy was a pharmacist at a Naval Hospital Twenty-nine Palms in California.

He told his mother that shortly after leaving his surgery, he was in excruciating pain.

Way was not seen by his surgeon but was given an increased prescription of oxycodone, baclofen as a muscle relaxant and put on a morphine drip.

Way was found dead by his roommates later that week.

Jordan’s mother, Suzi Way said the initial cause of death determined by the autopsy was opioid intoxication, but a medical director from the Department of Defense later determined Jordan Way died from opioid toxicity.

“The opioids that the doctors continued to give my son carelessly had killed him,” Way said. “He was poisoned.”

Jordan Way’s medication was accounted for, indicating he had not been ingested more opioids than he had been prescribed by his doctor.

“The opioid epidemic is affecting our military in the way that medicine is being dispensed,” Suzi Way said. “It’s negligence. It’s absolute medical negligence.”

Way was unable to pursue compensation for medical malpractice due to the Feres Doctrine, a Supreme Court case from 1950 which prevents military personnel from claiming medical malpractice damages for actions related to their military service.

“My son was not in a war situation. He had a routine, scheduled surgery,” Way said. “The government lumps it all in so there’s no accountability.”

Way said she hopes to raise awareness and is currently working with attorneys who have seen other cases like Jordan’s be struck in down in court appeals.

Currently, a bipartisan proposal to change the Feres Doctrine is awaiting approval in congress. It’s named after a Sergeant Richard Stayskal, a Green Beret with terminal lung cancer that was repeatedly missed by military doctors.

By Timothy Young