Friday, August 19, 2011

Widow of decorated Iraqi vet files wrongful death suit against VA hospital

Widow of decorated Iraqi vet files wrongful death suit against VA hospital
Published: Friday, Aug. 19, 2011 12:35 a.m. MDT
By Dennis Romboy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Chris Anglesey nearly died in the U.S. Army's march into Baghdad as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

While responding as a medic to a downed helicopter, a rocket-propelled grenade hit the vehicle he was riding in. Anglesey returned home with a Bronze Star and a partial disability.

Anglesey, who grew up in Kaysville, worked as a paramedic/firefighter in South Carolina and Arizona, eventually finding his way back to Utah for a job with the Tooele Army Depot Fire Department. Along the way, he and his wife, Kathy, became the parents of five daughters.

Last summer, he went to the George E. Whalen Veterans Administration Hospital in Salt Lake City after falling over some toys in his Tooele home. Doctors diagnosed him with a broken right tibial plateau and kept him overnight for evaluation. They sent him home the next day with crutches, painkillers and an undetermined date for surgery, court documents state.

Anglesey returned to the hospital three days later after stumbling on the crutches. He also experienced respiratory problems requiring oxygen. He again stayed overnight, went home with painkillers and no date for surgery.

Two days later, Anglesey was found unresponsive in his home. Efforts to revive him failed. He was 32.

Those details leading to his death are outlined in a federal lawsuit his widow filed this week against the VA hospital and three doctors, alleging negligence and malpractice.

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