The scandal that has emerged at the Department of Veterans Affairs was just dealt another blow earlier this month when reports discovered that taxpayers have shelled out $871 million in medical malpractice settlements over the last decade as a result of mistakes made at the VA.
Settlement payments have risen sharply in recent years. Since 2014, one-fourth or $230 million have been paid out to victims of medical malpractice. Since 2006, the VA has made 4,353 malpractice settlements at an average of $200,000 per award.
A report released earlier this month told of the untimely death of a 70-year-old VA patient at the hands of a nurse's aide. The coroner, prosecutors and the inspector general all agreed that the nurse's aide had beaten the patient to death.
The nurse's aide was cleared following an internal investigation, received no disciplinary action, and insisted all policies were followed. He vehemently denied any negligence. The nurse's aide is still currently employed at the hospital. The deceased patient's family received a $215,000 settlement.
Yes, there should be and currently is a discussion revolving around the VA's settlements as a form of "paying people off to hide misdeeds," according to Andrew Kloster of the Heritage Foundation. We want to focus on the rising number of medical malpractice cases that have been reported at VA facilities over the past decade.
Veterans have protected our country the freedom and liberties we enjoy. Established as a way for our veterans and service men and women to receive excellent medical care, the VA has been under harsh scrutiny since 2014 when problems with receiving timely care were made public. It was discovered that 40 veterans died while waiting for care at Phoenix VA facilities. As a result, the entire department was investigated and led to the resignation of Eric Shinseki, the Secretary of Veteran Affairs.
The more we learn about the VA and its policies, the more uneasy we become. There appears to be multiple forms of medical malpractice and negligence that occur within VA facilities. This mistreatment of our nation's heroes is absolutely unacceptable.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of medical malpractice or negligence at a VA facility, please contact our offices immediately. Our experienced legal team will work with you to ensure you are compensated for the mistreatment you have been subject to.