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Veterans allowed to Sue Government for Medical Malpractice

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New York, NYIn a recent decision by a Southern District judge, nine veterans will be allowed to sue the government for medical malpractice stemming from the treatment they received after being discharged from duty.

The veterans claim that they were victims of medical malpractice while they were treated by Veterans Administration (VA) doctors.

The plaintiffs in the suit, known as Matthew v. U.S., claim that they were misdiagnosed by VA doctors. They argue that doctors diagnosed them with stress-related problems; however their symptoms ranged from breathing problems to skin disorders to memory loss.

The veterans' lawyers argued that the defendants failed to inform their clients about the true consequences of exposure to uranium and concealed from the veterans the true nature of their conditions, symptoms, and injuries. Furthermore, they argued that the defendants failed to give proper medical treatment, failed to properly diagnose the veterans' conditions, and were negligent in their care and treatment of the veterans.

Veterans Administration Hospitals have come under fire in the last three years for poor quality health care. A study published in 2003 found that heart patients who received treatment at VA hospitals in the late 1990s had a consistently higher death rate than those treated at non-VA hospitals. The study found that a larger proportion of veterans died in the first month after suffering a heart attack. Likewise, of those who survived their heart attack, a larger proportion died over the next three years. Finally, the study showed that two procedures that can extend life after a heart attack are performed less frequently at VA hospitals. Those procedures, angioplasty and bypass surgery, were performed approximately half as often at VA hospitals as at non-VA hospitals.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that in a VA in Durham, North Carolina, "Several areas of the medical center did not meet safety or environmental standards." A major concern was that nurses falsely reported checking the hospital's two defibrillators every eight hours. Also, despite providing patient care on the 8th and 9th floors, there were no defibrillators available on these floors. In 2003 alone, the hospital had three code blue events on the 9th floor. The hospital was also found to have unlocked medication refrigerators, medication rooms and storage areas. The hospital was also in trouble for not ensuring that the staff had enough variety in skill to provide safe care to all patients.

Alarmingly, the OIG found that some VA physicians either did not show up for scheduled tours of duty, did not provide the VA with services owed, or were moonlighting on VA time. The OIG found problems with at least 24 facilities. Part-time physicians failed to complete a minimal amount of patient care on 53 percent of the days they were scheduled to work a minimum of four hours. At four VA hospitals, attending physicians were did not supervise residents' treatment of patients. Additionally, resident physicians were given the passwords of attending physicians so the residents could cosign their own entries into medical records.

Any of the problems that the OIG found could lead to serious medical problems for patients treated at those facilities. It is up to the government to ensure that veterans receive proper care while at VA medical centers. If you have been the victim of veteran medical malpractice, like the plaintiffs in Matthew v U.S., you have the right to sue the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).


Veteran Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been affected by medical malpractice at a VA hospital, please send your [Veterans Medical Malpractice] complaint to a qualified lawyer who will review your claim at no charge.


Posted by

I would like to start off saying I'm an severely pissed off! I have had 3 lower bk surgeries L3-L4, L4- L5,& L5 -S1 twice on L5-5 S1 two of them by VA!! Ihad a MRI in fed 2016 and another MRI on June 29 2017. That has stated I haven multiple disk herniation in same place! Even worse now it was 4 mm into my never root on siaticnerve and now its 5 mm! Plus its doing to same thing on L side now! I have the medical evedience of what's causing the constant chronic pain and ongoing severe pain! I was on 60 mg morphine 2\times a day and 5 mg hydrocodone 2 times a day for breakthrough pain! Now I have been completely cut off w nothing!!! I have been through all the none opioid therapy that they have w no help! They have also cut out are patient advocates they can't help us! I have been on my meds for over 17 yrs w no problems or broken no drug contracts!!!!!why are we supposed to do!! This psycho therapy has no bearing on severe pain!!!! I need some dam help or I'm gonna loose it and it ain't gonna be pretty!!!!


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