A recently released VA Inspector General report found ongoing problems at a Veterans Affairs hospital where nine patients died in surgery in six months – a mortality level more than four times the expected rate. As a result, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki pledged to send five top-ranking officials to investigate the ongoing medical errors at the government-run facility. The VA report also found other evidence of medical malpractice, including inconsistencies in the tracking of deaths, medical procedures performed by physicians without proper authorization, and inadequate record keeping of patient care.
Medical negligence committed by the government against a military dependent (active duty military personnel cannot sue the government for medical negligence at this time) can be pursued under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). Under FTCA, a dependent of an active duty military member who is injured or dies as a result of medical malpractice by military medical personnel can pursue a claim in negligence. The attorneys at Pierce & Thornton have successfully handled medical negligence cases against the Federal government and have experience in Federal court, which is where FTCA cases must be filed. If you have questions regarding potential malpractice committed at a VA facility, call one of our attorneys at Pierce & Thornton for a free consultation.