A veteran who is injured or killed by the negligence of a Veterans Administration health care provider may make a claim against the federal agency under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Even though veterans in West Virginia and nationwide have had the right to competent medical care for decades, for the past five years the country witnessed several scandals regarding inadequate care at these facilities. Recently, a federal judge sitting in another state entered a $2.5 million medical malpractice award to an Army veteran who is dying of prostate cancer.
The man sued the VA for alleged botched services administered to him in 2011 and thereafter at a VA hospital in a major city. The veteran of 18 years of military service went to the facility complaining of abdominal pain. A nurse practitioner found an enlarged prostate but did nothing further. The court ruled that the nurse was negligent for not ordering a PSA and not sending him to a urologist.
Since the time of the negligent service, the man has been diagnosed with fatal prostate cancer. He has had to undergo several surgeries and other procedures. The veteran filed the claim against the Veterans Hospital in Phoenix, a central focus of publicized news about the failures of VA services to take care of their patients' medical needs.
A part of the man's claim was that the facility was being run without organized protocols for seeing people in a timely manner; he also claimed a lack of proper tests and updated equipment. The plaintiff has centered his efforts on exposing the poor practices and substandard medical resources provided by the country's veterans' facilities, including in West Virginia. He has said that the amount of money recovered for a medical malpractice lawsuit is irrelevant, and that he is concerned with getting the services at VA hospitals improved for the sake of the military retirees and others.
Source: fox10phoenix.com, "Army veteran awarded $2.5M in Phoenix V-A malpractice case", Nicole Garcia, March 6, 2017