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Medical malpractice case highlights issues at VA hospital

After risking their lives for the safety of our country, veterans here in New Jersey and across the nation deserve the best medical care possible. Unfortunately, many of them fail to receive it at VA hospitals across the country. One veteran in particular who knows he will die persisted in a medical malpractice case against the VA hospital in his area in order to bring to light the lack of quality care that far too many of our former soldiers receive at these medical facilities.

In 2011, the man went to the VA hospital in his area complaining of abdominal pain. After discovering that his prostate was enlarged, the nurse practitioner failed to order additional tests or refer him to a urologist. Eventually, it was discovered that he suffers from a form of prostate cancer that is particularly aggressive.

Numerous medical treatments and surgeries only served to extend his life. He is not expected to survive the next five years. He filed a medical malpractice claim in federal court against the VA hospital in Phoenix. The court ruled that the nurse practitioner breached the accepted standard of care and awarded the man $2.5 million. The 18-year Army veteran is much less concerned about the monetary award than he is about seeing improvements in the VA hospital system so that someone else does not end up like him.

Many New Jersey residents who file medical malpractice claims understand this sentiment. True, a monetary award does help with the financial losses that usually follow in the wake of a medical mistake, but an equally important motivation for pursuing legal action for many people is to try to make sure that no one else suffers as they did. Many of the attorneys who practice in this area of law do it for the same reason. These cases are often challenging and can take a significant amount of time to reach a resolution, but for those who embark on this journey, it might be worth it if real changes occur.

Source:, "Army veteran awarded $2.5M in Phoenix V-A malpractice case", Nicole Garcia, March 6, 2017

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