Retired Veteran Fighting for Benefits After Suffering VA Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice laws are in place to allow victims of medical negligence to sue their doctors for causing them harm. However, there are some exceptions to the law that can make it difficult for injured patients to get the medical care they need.
Under a 1950 Supreme Court decision called the Feres Doctrine, a person cannot sue the Defense Department for a service-connected illness or injury, even if the medical staff at the Veterans Administration (VA) cause harm. This has made life difficult for a 29-year-old veteran whose surgery for a birth defect has led to a stroke and a dislocated neck. The woman is now confined to a wheelchair. She is partially paralyzed and lives in constant pain.
The woman has also been denied to the VA’s caregiver program, which would have given her $30,000 a year to pay for a caregiver. Instead, the woman must pay for her care out of pocket, making matters worse.
The woman worked as a public affairs noncommissioned officer when she started experiencing tingling and numbness in her limbs, blurred vision and headaches. An MRI showed a deformity known as a “type I Chiari malformation.” Her skull was putting pressure on part of her brain, pushing it into her spinal column.
In April 2013, the woman had surgery at Wright Patterson Air Force Base to repair the defect. The woman suffered a stroke not long after. However, the stroke went undetected for at least one day, leading to extensive brain damage.
The woman then went to a hospital in Ohio to have surgery to remove part of her skull in an attempt to relieve the pressure on her brain. It wasn’t until June 2014 that the woman learned that her neck had been dislocated during the surgery the previous year. It was believed that the stroke was triggered by the dislocation.
The woman had two more surgeries that year. In 2016, she was declared permanently disabled. She retired in July 2016.
Had the woman received car in a civilian hospital, she would have been able to file a medical malpractice suit. She could have sued her doctors for causing her dislocated neck, paralysis, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life and other damages. However, she loses out on these rights because she chose to have her medical care performed in a VA facility. The Feres Doctrine was designed to protect the Department of Defense from lawsuits due to battlefield injuries. Now, it’s causing physical and financial harm to veterans who have sacrificed so much for their countries.
Seek Help for Your Medical Malpractice Case
It can be frustrating when a medical provider causes a patient to suffer a worsened condition. It is even more frustrating when the law does not allow the patient to sue.
Medical negligence can impact your life in many ways. The experienced Dade City medical malpractice attorneys at Mander Law Group can help you understand your legal rights and hold the liable parties responsible for their actions. To get started, contact our office today at (800) 557-0411.