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VA Hospitals pay more than $800 million for medical malpractice

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is supposed to provide patient care and federal benefits to the brave men and women who have served our country. Yet, veterans are visiting VA hospitals in Pennsylvania for routine procedures and instead of receiving the standard of care that they deserve and expect, many leave with serious illnesses or suffer from permanent disabilities as a result of the hospitals negligence.

During 2102, the VA paid nearly $100 million dollars for to settle medical malpractice claims; a total of $800 million plus has been paid out over the past 10 years. Six years ago, a marine went to the VA hospital in Pittsburgh to have some teeth pulled. His blood pressure dropped more than once during the procedure, yet doctors continued and then allowed him to drive himself home. The man had a stroke and was involved in an automobile accident not far from the hospital. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and now needs round-the-clock care. The marine’s wife filed a lawsuit against the hospital; she was awarded her $17.5 million. The Pittsburgh VA Hospital has recently made headlines for problems there as well. Five veterans died after contracting Legionnaires’ disease during their stay.

Some believe that there is a lack of accountability in the VA hospital system. While no amount of compensation can make up for the worsened conditions, pain, suffering or loss of life associated with substandard care, the damages awarded in a civil lawsuit can ease the financial stress of tragic situations such as these and send a message that this type of care is not acceptable. An attorney can help.

Source: wxpi.com, “Target 11 investigates rise in medical claims at VA hospitals,” Nov. 25, 2013.

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