Saturday, April 19, 2014

Vet with PTSD lawsuit settled for $3.1 million

Vet with PTSD to receive $3.1 million from government
Times Tribune
Published: April 19, 2014

Fifteen months after he was awarded $3.7 million in a federal lawsuit, a Marine suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder will receive all but roughly $600,000 of the verdict after the government agreed to drop most of the issues it raised on appeal.

Stanley Laskowski III of Carbondale and his wife, Marisol, filed suit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 2010, alleging medical officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Plains Twp. improperly treated his PTSD for years, causing it to worsen.

The case went before Senior U.S. District Judge James Munley for a nonjury trial in September 2012. In a 69-page ruling issued in January 2013, the judge agreed doctors made numerous errors in treating Mr. Laskowski, 36, and awarded him $2.4 million for past and future lost earnings and $1.2 million for pain and suffering. Mrs. Laskowski was awarded $140,615 for loss of her husband’s companionship.
Mr. Laskowski receives disability based on his PTSD. The government argues the value of those future benefits over his projected lifetime should be deducted from the award. Mr. Brier said he opposes that because there is no guarantee Mr. Laskowski will continue to receive the benefits as disability determinations undergo periodic review and payments could be halted in the future.

Regardless of the outcome of that dispute, Mr. Brier argued, and the government agreed, the portion of the verdict that is not in dispute should be paid. The 3rd Circuit Court on Thursday approved the request.

“This court order is a tribute to the Laskowski family’s perseverance, courage and faith in each other and the judicial system,” Mr. Brier said in a prepared statement. “This partial victory permits these American heroes to start to rebuild their lives.”
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