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$750,000 paid to veteran in medical malpractice lawsuit

A  claim for medical negligence against a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital may sometimes lead to a pretrial settlement. Such cases are more prevalent since the scandalous reports of poor medical treatment in veterans' facilities hit the air waves about two years back. With many veterans in West Virginia relying on the veterans' facilities for the majority of their medical care, the issue of medical malpractice and the quality of care provided in the these medical facilities remains very important.

A recent settlement between a veteran and a VA medical center is illustrative of the problem. The man went to a VA facility in May 2015 to get what the surgeon declared to be an operation on his clogged carotid artery. The surgery, scheduled to take an hour, lasted 5 hours and caused the patient to have a massive stroke.

In the lawsuit filed by the veteran, his medical expert reports say that the carotid artery surgery was unnecessary in the first place. To add insult to injury, however, the doctor had advised the patient to stop taking aspirin one week prior to the scheduled operation. The aspirin was a necessary blood thinner known to prevent strokes during surgery. The experts for the plaintiff submitted reports indicating that it was malpractice for the defendant to cease the aspirin regimen. The lawsuit claimed that the plaintiff has lost the use of his arm because of the stroke caused by the malpractice.

He also could not walk or talk after the suspect surgery and now has limitations in those areas of his life. The legal counsel for the hospital reviewed the evidence submitted by the plaintiff, investigated the facts and concluded that the plaintiff's case was a valid statement of medical malpractice regarding the doctor. In addition to medical expenses for care and future procedures that may be necessary, the settlement likely relies heavily on compensating the man for his pain, suffering, and loss of life's pleasures. A similar outcome is likely to occur if the case was litigated under West Virginia law. 

Source: wric.com, "Veteran settles medical malpractice lawsuit with McGuire VA Medical Center", Parker Slaybaugh, May 11, 2017

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