A Veterans’ Affairs medical center in New Hampshire was recently ordered to pay the state’s largest ever personal injury judgment to a disabled veteran after the hospital failed to prevent a second stroke.
A 60-year-old Navy veteran sought medical help in 2010 after experiencing partial blindness and headaches. Six weeks later, he suffered another stroke which left him with locked-in syndrome, meaning that he is fully conscious and able to feel pain, but can only make small movements with his eyes to communicate.
According to the case, the veteran went to an urgent care VA center showing symptoms of a stroke. The VA doctor decided to transfer him to a facility which was capable of providing better stroke care after tests confirmed that a stroke had likely occurred. However, the transfer was canceled after there was some confusion about the best course of treatment. Instead, he was discharged and told to take two baby aspirin a day. The VA doctor also never consulted with either the neurologist or the cardiologist who were on staff at the VA clinic.
A month later, the veteran went to the clinic for a routine follow up visit. The doctor who examined him was never aware that he had had a stroke, because the information was not in his charts. The next day, the veteran was found unresponsive after a second massive stroke.
The judge in the case determined that the VA was negligent in failing to follow the normal standards of care, like provide referrals to specialists, provide follow up care, and provide medication. She ordered that the veteran receive $13.4 million to cover the costs of his care, and $8.2 million in damages for pain and suffering. All of the money in the world, however, will never allow the veteran to move or communicate with his family again.
Unfortunately for the nation’s veterans, the standard of care in a government-run institution like the VA is often lacking. In an organization as large as the VA, failures in communication between a patient’s doctors can often mean that conditions go undiagnosed or untreated. In this case, the breakdown in patient care resulted in a horrifying injury that will likely never be cured.
When a patient is injured by a doctor’s negligence or malpractice, he or she deserves to be compensated for their medical bills and the emotional damages the injury caused. At the Trial Law Office of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D. Esq., we share a patient’s outrage when an injury is caused by inexcusable negligence. If you or your loved one was harmed as a result of malpractice, our dedicated legal team will fight to get you the justice you deserve.
To make an appointment with experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice attorney Bradley I. Kramer, fill out our contact form online or call (310) 289-2600. Don’t wait to fight for your rights after an injury—call today to get the help you need to heal.