1st Lt. Katie Blanchard seeks $3.5 Million

| October 8, 2018

We first wrote about Katie Blanchard HERE.   She has filed a $3.5 million case against the Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

One year ago, an Army civilian who tossed a water bottle full of gasoline onto his supervisor and lit a match was sentenced by a judge to 20 years in prison for attempted murder.

For the nurse who survived the attack, the fight is not even close to over.

The Feres doctrine prevents service members and their families from suing the Defense Department in the event of injury or death, but for 1st Lt. Katie Blanchard, that is beside the point. In September, she filed a personal injury claim against the Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where she was working at Munson Army Health Center at the time of the September 2016 assault.

“Is it okay for us to have gross negligence and zero accountability in the military? Because if you look at my case, that’s what it is,” Blanchard told Army Times in a Wednesday phone interview. “Zero accountability for the way they treated me and the things that they missed that will forever affect my life.”

Blanchard, 28, is asking for just under $3.5 million to cover some of the costs of the permanent disabilities she faces, after more than 100 surgeries to date and an intense battle with post-traumatic stress.

She had, for months before the Sept. 7, 2016, attack, warned her supervisors and security personnel at the hospital that she believed Clifford Currie, the civilian employee, would try to kill her. Their relationship had deteriorated over the previous year, as she tried to implement an administrative plan to get his work progress on track.

A link to The Feres Doctrine is HERE.  Lt Blanchard had repeatedly tried to get her command to take action concerning her attacker.   I doubt Blanchard is perfect and from what I can gather seems to be more than capable of becoming a First Class Bitch at times.   After what she has been through…I can not say that I blame her in the slightest.

While she’s fully insured with Tricare, she said she still fights constantly to get the treatments she needs. She has to fight for a temporary duty order to see specialists they don’t have at JBLM, or to fill a prescription for an extra-strength, non-irritating body moisturizer she applies daily just to be able to comfortably wear clothes and move around.

They kept it stocked at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, she said, where she recovered from the initial attack in their specialized burn unit.

“Here they’re like, ‘Nope, sorry, we don’t provide it,’ ” she said. “Well, it’s $20 for a tub of it, and I go through that every three or four days. This is not cosmetic. I don’t like just putting on a ton of lotion every day just to feel pretty.”

“That’s for comfort,” was Tricare’s response, she said.

So instead, she sleeps in a recliner in her basement after surgery, keeping herself in position with pillows that shift all night, waking up regularly to rearrange them.

“Yes, you give me medical care, but how much of a fight do I want to do for that?” she said.

The damages she’s seeking from Fort Leavenworth would cover those medical costs that are denied by Tricare, she said, as well as for child care for her sons while she’s in surgery and recovering, and her active duty officer husband isn’t available.

“My husband is currently out in the field and then he’s deploying,” she said.

Lt Blanchard deserves better than this.  I am not a big fan of those who file cases for money as if it will change the behavior of those who do not actually write the check…this is an exception.

Please read the entire Article HERE.





Category: Government Incompetence, Health Care debate, Military issues

Comments (44)

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  1. RetiredDevilDoc8404 says:

    She should also name the union that represented the dirtbag as a defendant if she has not already done so, since they also made the attack possible by making his termination virtually impossible. I worked in a union shop when I worked for a private ambulance service, and I was a shop steward so I do know about unions. Her attacker’s union played a huge hand in all this as well. The Tricare well and truly sucks at times in their decision making, almost on par with my local VA.

    • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

      Absolutely, I wholeheartedly concur.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      Hell, YES!

    • OWB says:

      Seems like the union more than volunteered itself as culpable at the time of the attack. Wasn’t it one of their people who cheered the attack? (Might have been another case.)

      • UpNorth says:

        You’re right, this from the TAH files, https://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=75778
        From that article, “It seems that the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) does not have much to say about the incident. However, it has been widely reported that Audrey Harris, who was President of the Unions Local 738 at the time, made statements to several people that Lt. Blanchard got what she deserved”.

        • OWB says:

          Thanks for the back up, Up North. Asked the question before realizing I’d run out time and had to get gone without doing the research.

    • Mason says:

      Here-here, Doc!

    • Club Manager, USA ret. says:

      Great Call. Someone needs to contact her or her attorney with that info.

    • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

      The AFGE, American Federation of Government Employees if I’m correct, and yeah she ought to go after them!

    • Dennis says:

      American Federation of Government Employees Union.

      Try to get a federal worker fired! I tried when I was with the VA after I retired from the AF and it was like they patted me on the head and said “there, there, Dennis, it’ll be okay”.

  2. David says:

    Remember the case; quite a few of her superiors should have drawn time at the local military lockup and been dismissed. Rank negligence and incompetence. Ya want the ranks, gotta take the spanks.

    • Mason says:

      Dollars to donuts that a whole lot of people suddenly retired. So now when this gets before a judge, they can say the problem has been rectified and will never happen again.

  3. 26Limabeans says:

    $3.5 million is not nearly enough.

    20 years is also not nearly enough.

  4. MSG Eric says:

    TRICARE is denying care? I’m shocked!

    TRICARE is the perpetual example of why having “universal healthcare” is such a bad idea.

    Even the VA will provide treatment options that tricare denies, which is pretty ironic.

    Hopefully with her bringing this to the attention of the media it will improve the response she’s getting. Just ridiculous that she’s being told no for any reason.

  5. Cameron Kingsley says:

    Someone should forward this to Mattis. And I sure hope people send some nasty messages to that worthless union president and remind her of what she said about this woman. Fucking useless cunt.

  6. Green Thumb says:


    The Army needs to get of its lazy ass and help this Officer.

  7. Retired Grunt says:

    In her case, she warned them for months, it is gross negligence and she deserves it. JMHO.

  8. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    This pisses me off at every level…she needs to sue everyone she can think of, union, government, attacker’s holdings and property…and for way more than 3.5 million…sometimes the best lessons learned are the expensive lawsuits that force some introspective correction.

    In addition, she should sue every officer that failed to do their fucking jobs, and work her way and up and down the chain to make everyone aware who was negligent than being a shit bird can cost them some serious coin. Lazy fucks deserve no less.

  9. Ex-PH2 says:

    Get rid of the union first and foremost, and yes, she should keep after this until she gets resolution. But I don’t think she is asking nearly enough.

    And when is Tricare going to be ended?

  10. Graybeard says:

    I concur 100% with all the above sentiments.

    This warrior deserves to be cared for and treated with all care and respect.

    Those who deny her this, deserve to be made to suffer themselves – both financial pain and career pain.

  11. Ex-PH2 says:

    Note to Dave Hardin: I can be a first class bitch, too. I never get any credit for stuff like that. I’m sad.

  12. MrBill says:

    She definitely deserves more than she’s received. But abrogating Feres would open up several cans of worms that do not need to be opened. It’d be good if a way can be found to get her some extra compensation that doesn’t create a legal precedent that would open a floodgate of litigation against the DoD. And as was mentioned above, I’d love to see the union have to pay as well.

    • J.R. Johnson says:

      So the point seems to be that she can’t sue the medical treatment, but she could certainly go after the Union that festered the situation and by some claims, actually promoted it to happen.
      If government employees can have a union, then the Union should be libel for the actions of its employees.

  13. OWB says:

    And the bean counters can justify denying her everything she needs for continuing recovery how exactly??

    No sense. Everyone associated with this then and now has absolutely no sense at all. They need training in how to be just little bit humane.

  14. WarEagle82 says:

    Can we start a gofundme effort for this officer? She is certainly more deserving that the last gofundme account I saw

  15. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    When justice breaks down, especially this badly, folks tend to be tempted to take things into their own hands. That rarely ends well outside of vengeance movies.

    Now back in the real world, you don’t suppose Trump and or congresscritters would be looking for a sympathetic “abused woman” case to fix right before an election?

    Yup. Totally cynical and exploitive. But if it gets her justice, and Trump more support in congress…

    • OWB says:

      Well, it would certainly be stupid should they NOT decide to fix it, and quickly. Like immediately.

      I demand an FBI investigation!

  16. W1P says:

    Wow Dave just wow.

    After all the Lt. has been through, and her continued honorabe service, you can tke her side, but not without calling her a bitch?

    The class around here continues to decline in Jon’s absence.

    • OWB says:

      Perhaps I am overreacting, but what? Are you 12??

    • Trenton Berry says:

      You know where the door is. Don’t let it hit ya when the good Lord split ya. Oh, and before you get the idea, this place ain’t an active airfield, no need to announce your departure…

  17. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    Write her a check for 6 mil with option to return if she needs more.

    This was preventable … she may very well be awarded much more!

    Good luck …

  18. Open Channel D says:

    “Fully insured by Tricare” is an inaccurate statement. My wife was “fully insured by Tricare” and died while waiting for a lung transplant. My share of “fully insured by Tricare” was over $100K for a transplant that never happened.

    1LT Blanchard’s personality and leadership style are irrelevant. She identified a risk and her leadership failed to protect her from that risk. DoD and the Union covering that human stain need to write jer a high 7-digit check.

    Oh yeah, that prick who did it should never see the light of day outside prison walls. My lips to God’s ears…

  19. HMC Ret says:

    “…a prescription for an extra-strength, non-irritating body moisturizer.” It is available at Brooke b/c that is the military’s prominent burn center. If it is the stuff I’m familiar with, it comes in tubs weighing 1-2 pounds. I think it is the stuff I applied to the dozen or so burn patients from an aircraft accident in San Diego on 22DEC69. A jet jockey had problems landing and ejected. Unfortunately, his plane continued and entered a hangar and exploded. Several ‘survivors’ were sent to Brooke and a makeshift ward was created at Balboa for a dozen or so additional ‘survivors’. The fortunate ones, IMHO, were killed outright. The pilot survived but later committed suicide. He had one more and possibly two more crashes. Horrible situation.

    I do know that the stuff is cheap. This warrior should find a means of going outside the chain of command and getting the ear of Mattis and also the MSM (repeatedly). I’m not an advocate of going outside the CoC, but this lady needs to take steps to insure a fair and decent future for herself and her family. This situation sucks the big one in all respects. I would take whatever steps necessary to destroy the pig union president, the union itself and every bureaucrat serving as an impediment to her need for fairness. Fuck them. Fuck them all, starting with the pigs in the union.

  20. Dennis says:

    I am a retired AF Physician Assistant and I worked at the Biloxi VA for 10 years … I can attest to the fact that what she’s saying about having “special” meds filled is difficult, if not impossible. Instead of just ordering it, they will fight you tooth and nail, either by offering lesser alternatives, or flat out refusing it.

    I don’t know that she should receive a monetary award, but she and others like her, injured in the line of duty, should be given ***every friggin’ doctor ordered medication, and anything else*** needed to take care of them. It is total bullsnot to have to fight or beg for the care you need. Hell, the care you DESERVE!

  21. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    A complaint is a lousy basis on which to judge the merits of a case. It is a one-sided affair in which most anything can be claimed. The criminal case her attacker and would-be assassin actually went to trial, a relatively rare event for Federal prosecutors who usually deal away cases. I’d like to see what the asshole was charged with such that the jury came back with guilty for assault with intent to commit murder. It strikes me as odd that his weapon of choice was not charged–or perhaps it was. In any event, in another rarity, he rec’d the max sentence of 20 yrs.

  22. Old 1SG, US Army (retired) says:

    She deserves more than $3.5 million. Her attorney needs to start at around $50 – $100 million.

    We know the Feds will push back on any sort of lawsuit, but I say she should go for it.

    And as someone already said, she needs to include the union as well…

    Hope she wins this!

  23. timactual says:

    Millions for enlistment and reenlistment bonuses, but not one red cent for unauthorized meds!