The recent controversy surrounding Veterans’ Affairs hospitals around the nation is likely something most Connecticut residents have heard about by now. Many in the hospital system’s administration are accused of falsifying patient records to indicate that patients did not wait as long for treatment as they actually did. Several citizens are pursuing medical malpractice lawsuits in connection with harm done to patients due to what they say was inadequate treatment, and one state has already paid out over $8 million to date.
A woman from out of state filed a wrongful death claim on behalf of her husband against the VA hospital where he received treatment for a heart attack. Her suit was counted among 10 that were filed at that particular hospital in an 11-year span before the scandal broke. Altogether, in that particular state and time frame, paid claims have totaled over $8.2 million dollars. All across the country, medical malpractice suits have resulted in more than $200 million being paid in settlements for over 1,000 cases.
Many different entities from around the country are in the process of investigating exactly how the falsification of records occurred, including the White House and the VA itself. The results of these inquiries are still pending, but they could have a reverberating effect for veterans and their families all across the country who may feel that they did not receive adequate care. Many are calling for sweeping reform within the entire VA hospital system.
Medical malpractice claims involving the VA are handled a bit differently than lawsuits against the rest of the medical community and require families to follow a process within the VA itself initially. Afterward, a claim in a civil court may be pursued by a victim’s family. Though this case happened out of state, Connecticut families may want to take note if one of their loved ones ever served in the armed forces.
Source: lancastereaglegazette.com, “Ohio VA has paid $8M for wrongful deaths”, James Pilcher, June 27, 2014