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VA disburses $200 million for wrongful deaths of veterans

VA hospitals provide care for those who serve or have served our country, including veterans and active duty members from New Haven, Connecticut.

Data collected by The Center for Investigative Reporting recently showed that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has paid out over $200 million due to wrongful death lawsuits in the 10 years that followed 9/11. These payments have been disbursed to around 1,000 families who lost a loved one due to hospital negligence or the VA’s failure to provide access to proper care. 

One woman received a settlement in the amount of $135,000 for the death of her brother in 2008. She had told the hospital staff not to leave her 84-year-old brother alone. He ended up experiencing a fatal fall when he was left alone in the bathroom.

In that case, if the hospital staff had followed the woman’s instructions for the care of her brother, then the devastating result of this hospital negligence might easily have been prevented. 

While the VA does much to help veterans receive necessary health care, the organization is certainly not perfect. While many veterans are saved by the VA’s care, some are harmed when they are not offered any care or when the care they receive is insufficient.

Many of the other cases involved delayed diagnoses or misdiagnoses. Other cases involve a failure to provide care for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ultimately, it is any hospital’s duty to meet certain standards to ensure proper patient care. It is very disturbing to hear about the nation’s veterans receiving poor care. Whether an individual is a veteran or not, hospitals and medical professionals must meet certain standards of care; when they fail to do so, they can be held accountable for medical malpractice.

Source: Philly.com, "VA pays out $200 million for veterans' wrongful deaths," Aaron Glantz, April 3, 2014

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