Showing posts with label VA malpractice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VA malpractice. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

"VA officials overlooked or were unaware that a doctor was on the data bank’s list" and veterans suffered

Wichita VA fires doctor who medical board accuses of botching operations in Missouri

Kansas City Star
DECEMBER 30, 2019
The Government Accountability Office earlier this year faulted the VA for not always doing a good job checking the credentials of the doctors and other health professionals it hires. The report did not single out the Wichita hospital, but said that in some cases VA officials overlooked or were unaware that a doctor was on the data bank’s list.

Jim Guillaume of Independence blames the 2013 death of his wife, Susan, on a surgeon’s incompetence. Missouri officials agree that urologist Christel Wambi-Kiesse was out of his depth in the operating room. RICH SUGG RSUGG@KCSTAR.COM

The Department of Veteran Affairs hospital in Wichita has fired a doctor who Missouri regulators say botched operations while he was in private practice in the Kansas City area several years ago.

The VA began its investigation of Christel O. Wambi-Kiesse in September after The Kansas City Star reported that Missouri’s Board of Registration for the Healing Arts was seeking to discipline the 44-year-old urologist for allegedly harming patients while performing robot-assisted surgeries that were beyond his abilities.

The board cited three examples, all during 2013, while he was working for a now-defunct urology clinic associated with Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence. One woman died from a massive infection two months after Wambi-Kiesse punctured her bladder while performing a biopsy and failed to repair the damage, according to the complaint. The Star independently confirmed her identity as Susan Guillaume, who was 69 and lived in Independence.

“He poked two holes in her bladder, and then he said ‘we’re just going to let it heal naturally,’ “ her husband, Jim Guillaume, said in August. “Heal naturally? All that poison went into her abdominal cavity.”
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Colorado Veterans Sued VA

News 5 Investigates: Claims paid by Colorado VA
by Eric Ross
August 15, 2014
In one case, a patient's prostate was wrongfully removed because of a paperwork mix-up.

Surgeons believed the patient had prostate cancer, but the file they were looking at belonged to a different veteran.

More than 400 claims have been filed and nearly $15 million in damages have been awarded to Colorado veterans who sued the VA for poor healthcare and medical malpractice over the past decade.

"It took the VA 7 months to set up my first appointment," army veteran Donald Colvin Jr. said.

Colvin Jr. says he suffers from a knee injury, asthma, PTSD, and impaired hearing.

"To this day I'm still waiting to see a doctor for some of my problems," he said. "The VA says I'm on the list to see one, but I don't know where I am on that list."

Last week, the VA tooted their horn for having better care for veterans in Colorado compared to other parts of the nation, but did admit they have lost trust in the community following the national scandal.

"This operation in Denver is one of the best across the nation," Sloan Gibson with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs said. "We are continuing to earn that trust day in and day out."
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Vietnam Veteran Sued VA for Malpractice and Won $12 Million

Vietnam veteran wins twelve million dollars in medical malpractice settlement
Posted by: briadm

A Vietnam veteran and Chicago-area resident will receive a $12 million settlement from the federal government in a medical malpractice case.

John Johnson is a Vietnam combat veteran who served in the Army from 1970 to 1971. In 2007, Johnson was admitted to Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital in Hines, Illinois for oral surgery. After he was put under anesthesia, Johnson went into cardiac arrest, which resulted in brain damage. Johnson filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital.

According to the lawsuit, doctors did not prepare adequately for the surgery and failed to properly monitor Johnson’s heart condition after he received anesthesia.
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

VA pays out $200 million nationally for veterans' wrongful deaths

Over 10 years, VA pays out $200 million nationally for veterans' wrongful deaths
The Center for Investigative Reporting
April 3, 2014

An Iraq War veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder and a history of drug dependency is found dead on the floor of his room at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in West Los Angeles after doctors give him a 30-day supply of the anti-anxiety medication alprazolam and a 15-day supply of methadone.

At the VA in San Diego, an intern fails to remove a central-line catheter in a hospitalized veteran, causing his immediate death.

In San Francisco, a Vietnam veteran is admitted to the VA with a special notation that he is prone to falling. Hospital staff regularly leave him unattended, and the veteran falls five times over two weeks, injuring his head, finger, ribs and left knee. After each fall, VA doctors prescribe escalating doses of narcotic painkillers until he overdoses and is moved to hospice care.

These are some of the deaths that resulted in more than $200 million in wrongful death payments by the Department of Veterans Affairs in the decade after 9/11, according to VA data obtained by The Center for Investigative Reporting.

In that time, CIR found the agency made wrongful death payments to nearly 1,000 grieving families, including 59 in California, ranging from decorated Iraq War veterans who shot or hanged themselves after being turned away from mental health treatment, to Vietnam veterans whose cancerous tumors were identified but allowed to grow, to missed diagnoses, botched surgeries and fatal neglect of elderly veterans. Two of the cases involved patients at the Fresno VA hospital.
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Department of Veterans Affairs paid $845 million in malpractice in 10 years

VA pays out more than $800 million for malpractice
ABC News 22
November 13, 2013

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- An analysis shows that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has paid out about $845 million in malpractice cases during the past 10 years.

Reporters for Cox Media Group analyzed federal treasury data and found taxpayers spent more than $800 million paying 4,426 veterans and their family members who brought malpractice claims against the VA medical system since 2003.

In 2012, a total of 454 financial settlements and awards added up to $98.3 million.
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Malpractice Payouts to U.S. Veterans Reach 12-Year High

Malpractice Payouts to U.S. Veterans Reach 12-Year High
Bloomberg Business
By Kathleen Miller
September 09, 2013

Christopher Ellison went to a veterans medical center in Philadelphia to get eight teeth extracted in 2007. What should have been a routine dentist visit left him permanently incapacitated.

The $17.5 million Ellison and his family received in a malpractice judgment against the Department of Veterans Affairs was the largest against the agency in a dozen years -- and one of more than 400 payments the U.S. government made last year to resolve VA malpractice claims, according to agency records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The total cost came to $91.7 million, also the highest sum in at least 12 years.

The cases against the VA have included missed diagnoses, delayed treatment and procedures performed on wrong body parts. U.S. lawmakers and veterans’ advocates say they reflect deep flaws in the agency’s health-care system even as the department tends to more former troops, including those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Saturday, August 31, 2013

PTSD veteran sues after being set on fire in VA operating room

“They Set Me on Fire”
Lawyers and Settlements
By Brenda Craig
August 31, 2013

Stafford, WV: American military vet Steven Anthony was already living a life compromised by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when he was suffered another blow to his already fragile mind at a Veteran’s hospital in Martinsburg, Virginia. Steven became a victim of veteran medical malpractice.

Several months ago, Anthony was admitted for some routine surgery. The plan was to give Anthony a general anesthetic for knee surgery, and while he was in the operating room, remove a lesion on his forehead.

“As I lay on the operating table, my mind was telling me I was getting hot. I woke up to see flames all around me,” says Anthony. “I reached up and pulled fire from my face.”

The operating room team had been using an electric cauterizing device to control bleeding during the removal of the lesion. It ignited Anthony’s oxygen supply and caused the cotton gauze around his face to catch fire.

“Everyone else backed off and Steven burnt his hands as he tore the burning material from his face,” says his attorney Anthony Williams, who is a former marine and judge advocate, and has represented members of the military on a variety of issues. “He suffered some superficial burns on his face and hands but the real issue aggravated his PTSD.”
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Deal reached in malpractice lawsuit agains VA over suicide

Deal is reached in lawsuit over veteran's death
By Kate Wiltrout
The Virginian-Pilot
© February 20, 2013

Darla Grese can finally stop fighting for her sister.

Kelli Grese - a Navy veteran like her twin sister - killed herself on Veterans Day in 2010. She overdosed on Seroquel, an antipsychotic medication that was part of a cocktail of drugs prescribed by doctors at the Hampton Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Darla Grese, of Virginia Beach, filed a malpractice suit against the medical center, seeking $5 million. It was scheduled for trial in Norfolk in April. On Tuesday, Grese and the U.S. government reached a settlement, according to her lawyer, Bob Haddad: If a judge approves the deal, the government will pay Grese $100,000.

Grese hopes publicity about the suit will draw more attention to the treatment of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, both of which her sister battled.

In a single year, Grese said in an interview, doctors at the Hampton facility prescribed 5,370 pills of Klonopin, used to treat anxiety disorders, for her sister.
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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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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Military faces challenge to malpractice shield Feres

Military faces challenge to malpractice shield
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Veterans, military families and others who oppose a decades-old law that shields military medical personnel from malpractice lawsuits are rallying around a case they consider the best chance in a generation to change the widely unpopular protection.

The U.S. Supreme Court has asked for more information from attorneys and will decide next month whether to hear the case of a 25-year-old noncommissioned officer who died after a nurse put a tube down the wrong part of his throat.

If the law is overturned, it could expose the federal government to billions of dollars in liability claims. That makes it highly unlikely a divided Congress desperate to cut expenses will act on its own to change what's called the Feres Doctrine, a 1950 Supreme Court ruling that effectively equates injuries from medical mistakes with battlefield wounds.

The court case involves the death of Air Force Staff Sgt. Dean Patrick Witt, who was hospitalized in 2003 for what should have been a routine appendectomy at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif. Following surgery, a nurse anesthetist inserted a breathing tube into his esophagus instead of his trachea or airway, depriving his brain of oxygen. Witt, of Oroville, Calif., died once his family removed him from life support three months later.

The nurse admitted her mistake and surrendered her state license. Federal courts denied the legal claim by Witt's widow, saying their hands were tied by the Feres Doctrine. Witt's family appealed, aiming to help other service members who get hurt in military hospitals.

"We labored on this for a long, long time, and we decided that the right thing to do here was to protect the rights of other people who go into the military and are signing away their rights to get good health care in the military system," said Witt's brother-in-law, Carlos Lopez, of Salt Lake City. "So we're hoping, we're praying, that his case could be the one that changes everything."

The Feres (pronounced FEHR-es) ruling grew out of the Federal Tort Claims Act of 1946, which allowed lawsuits against the government for negligent acts under certain circumstances. Initially the law was interpreted to forbid lawsuits by military personnel and their families only for combat-related injuries and deaths, but the decision in Feres vs. United States — involving a soldier who died in a barracks fire — widened that exclusion to bar any lawsuits over injuries "incident to military service."
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Military faces challenge to malpractice shield

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

VA 'Quack' Scandal in Montana Worst Yet

Special Report: Are the 11 Montana VA Deaths Murder?
Gordon Duff Special to
VA 'Quack' Scandal in Montana Worst Yet.

(CLEVELAND, Ohio ) - When a whistleblower brought records of 28 veterans who were undiagnosed and untreated to VA authorities in Montana, he was threatened, bullied and abused. No surprise here. When forced to investigate, the hospital quickly found all claims were false.

The doctor's name is secret. We assume he is a radiologist. He treated 5800 patients, some are known to have died. Was this simple "malpractice" or a pattern of criminal behavior that may have led to the deaths of many Montana veterans?

Examining the VA Inspector Generals report, we now understand more. Not only did this doctor falsify medical records, he failed to diagnose and treat countless patients. He falsified records showing false diagnoses and treatments. It is extremely unlikely that many patients didn't die because of these actions.
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Are the 11 Montana VA Deaths Murder

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Federal bill would allow GIs to sue for medical negligence

Federal bill would allow GIs to sue for medical negligence
Malpractice claim » A Utah colonel says the military botched her operation.
By Dawn House

The Salt Lake Tribune

Updated: 06/23/2009 10:10:11 PM MDT

A colonel who underwent surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to remove a cancerous breast says her physician operated on the wrong side of her body, mistakenly removing several healthy lymph nodes and disfiguring her.

But the government rejected all claims brought by Col. Adele Connell of Stansbury Park under a law that makes it nearly impossible for GIs and their families to sue the military for medical malpractice.

Connell hopes a bill the House Judiciary Committee expects to consider today will allow military families like hers to hold the government accountable for noncombat-related injuries. The Carmelo Rodriguez Military Medical Accountability Act would overturn the so-called Feres Doctrine, named for a 1950 Supreme Court case that effectively bars service members from collecting damages for death or injuries caused by negligence.

"These last eight months have been unbelievably difficult," said Connell, 57, who has served in the military for more than 30 years. "The reason I am going public is that I want to try to improve the military for soldiers serving all over the world."

Connell's attorney, Dean Swartz of Washington, D.C., said it's outrageous that imprisoned felons can sue for damages from medical malpractice, but that same right is denied members of the U.S. military.

"This is a no-brainer," he said. "When doctors operate on the wrong side of a patient and cause harm, there should be some compensation."
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Death of Marine Carmelo Rodriguez could change law

Sister of deceased marine implores Congress to reverse military medical malpractice ban

Rodriguez: "I speak for the countless ..."

WASHINGTON – Marine Sgt. Carmelo Rodriguez of Ellenville died in 2007 at the age of 29 from a melanoma on his buttocks that was misdiagnosed by military doctors while he served in Iraq.

Congressman Maurice Hinchey has introduced legislation that would reverse a current 50 year old federal law that prohibits lawsuits and he testified about it before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law.
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For his story go here

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Death of Marine Carmelo Rodriguez

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Soon, The Name "Carmelo Rodriguez" Will Be Heard In Congress
Case Sheds Light On Military LawSoon, The Name "Carmelo Rodriguez" Will Be Heard In Congress

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Legislator pushing bill to overturn Feres Doctrine
Law prevents troops’ malpractice lawsuitsLegislator pushing bill to overturn Feres DoctrineBy Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes

Saturday, August 9, 2008

VA letter left out details on veteran's care

VA letter left out details on veteran's care
By William R. Levesque, Times Staff Writer
Saturday, August 9, 2008

TAMPA — Rep. Gus Bilirakis wanted answers about how the nation's busiest veterans hospital treated a Tarpon Springs man who died in the facility's care.

What Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, got was a letter from the James A. Haley VA Medical Center that did not include vital details about Richard Stecher's treatment.

The three-page letter dated July 24 did not disclose that:

• Haley's chief of staff had apologized to Stecher's companion, Mary Nicholl, the day before, telling her that three VA doctors "missed opportunities" to treat Stecher, 64, who died June 30 of a perforated bowel obstruction.

• Haley had concluded Stecher should have been admitted to the hospital in April after a CAT scan, two months before he was admitted.

• The VA sent Stecher for the April CAT scan at a private company because it was short of staff, and a non-VA radiologist who reviewed the results did not have access to previous scans for an important comparison.

A Department of Veterans Affairs regional lawyer, James Kelly, said on Friday that the VA was not attempting to keep any information from Bilirakis. "Nothing could be further from the truth," Kelly said.
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