CROOK LAW
                                                   VA Malpractice


            With the number of military personnel leaving the military due to end of duty, retirement or medical disability, a strain is being placed on the Veterans Administration specifically related to the care and treatment of veterans.  There are fewer dollars now for use by the Veterans Administration in taking care of the significantly increased number of veterans who are either now seeking medical care or will be soon seeking medical care at a Veterans Administration Hospital or Clinic.  Numerous articles have been published within the past five to ten years regarding the condition of Veterans Administration Hospitals including unsanitary conditions which have led to the spread of infectious agents, infestations by disease carrying vermin, inadequately supervised nurses and residents, inadequately trained physicians and inaccurately operating life saving medical devices.  The increased strain upon the Veterans Administration Hospitals will likely produce more instances of inadequate medical care.  


            Most veterans are probably unaware of the types of acts which sometimes occur at the Veterans Administration Hospital.  For instance, at one VA Medical Center, a physician was found guilty by a jury for involuntary manslaughter in administering a lethal dose of potassium chloride to a veteran.  Two nurses testified at the trial that they tried to stop the physician from administering the medication in the manner he chose.  


            In another case, a Veterans Administration nurse left a disabled veteran, under her care, to take a phone call before completing his hook up to a functioning dialysis machine.  Upon returning, the nurse failed to hook up his lines to the dialysis machine properly which resulted in a massive blood loss.  Her action was made worse by the fact she failed to inform the medical personnel of her error when they responded to render aid to the veteran.  The nurse received 10 years probation, agreed to surrender her nursing license for five years and agreed to be retrained and recertified before she could reapply for a nursing license. 


            In another case, a bone density technician a VA Medical Center admitted to sexually abusing minors involved in a research project on at least three occasions at the VA Medical Center.  The technician pled guilty to three counts of sexual abuse. 


            If either you or a member of your family has been injured at a VA medical facility as a result of medical negligence, you may want to contact an attorney to evaluate a potential case against the Veterans Administration.  Any malpractice claim would have to be filed under the Federal Tort Claim Act.  You cannot just file a lawsuit in state court.  You must file an administrative claim with the federal agency from which the act of malpractice arose within two years after the claim accrues.  If the federal agency mails a denial of the claim to the claimant, the claimant has six months in order to file a lawsuit in federal district court.  If the claim is not denied within six months after filing an administrative claim, the claimant has a right to file a lawsuit in federal district court.  Any lawsuit filed will have to be tried before a federal judge without a right to a jury trial. 

            If you believe you have been injured as a result of the negligence of a physician or other healthcare provider at a VA Hospital, feel free to contact me regarding a review of your potential case.


            For additional information, consult our website information on “Medical Malpractice” and “Federal Tort Claim.”  


         Questions About VA Malpractice?

         Call Ronald R. Crook at 205.879.2490 or Email Me.
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