The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has more than tripled the number of legal settlements due to medical malpractice. That’s according to data obtained by the New York Daily News from a Freedom of Information Act request.
The settlement payments soared from $98 million in 2011 to $338 million in 2015. The records revealed a host of instances of bungled medical procedures, completely wrong diagnosis and poor care.
Here are a few examples of malpractice for which the VA was sued and ultimately settled.
- A Gulf War veteran experiencing serious depression suffocating to death after an electro shock therapy session went wrong. The therapy was recommend by several of the patients VA friends.
Even though the veteran began to experience breathing problems immediately as the therapy began, it took 16 hours for the therapist to attempt to insert a breathing tube. After 11 attempts, the therapist called for a doctor to put the tube in. The veteran – deprived of sufficient oxygen for 63 minutes – died three days later.
- A veteran dying from internal bleeding after developing complications resulting from routine gallbladder removal surgery.
Even though a nurse found his blood pressure to be low after the procedure – a clear indicator that complications had set in – she failed to even notify a doctor. He died mere hours later.
- Another veteran dying from colon cancer – after his doctor either ignored or completely missed red flags for cancer during three annual tests. While the tests revealed positive signs of colon cancer on all three occasions, the veteran was never told about it.
When he switched doctors, he was immediately told about the presence of cancer. By that time, the cancer had already spread to his lymph nodes.
More Vets Requiring Medical Attention
With U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, the number of service men and women needing medical care has jumped significantly. In 2014 alone, the VA says it provided care for 6.6 million veterans – that’s a 56% leap from 2001.
Call the Fitzgerald Law Firm if You’re a Vet Who Experienced Medical Malpractice
Stories about people suffering and even dying as a result of someone else’s negligence are always disturbing and sad. The men and women who have served or are actively serving our country definitely deserve better care.
If you’re a victim of medical malpractice, we urge you to call us here at the Fitzgerald Law Firm at 800-323-9900 for a free consultation.