Ohio VA has Paid Eight Families in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Ohio VA has Paid Eight Families in Medical Malpractice LawsuitsThe U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has paid out a total of $940,000 in lawsuits filed on behalf of the deaths of eight patients at the Dayton VA Medical Center between 2005 and 2008.

According to the Dayton Daily News, during this four-year period, medical malpractice claims at the VA soared. Now, two more medical malpractice lawsuits are pending, which allege the center provided substandard care to its patients. The deaths occurred in 2009 and 2010, and are included in the 72 medical malpractice claims that have been filed against the medical center since January 2007.

The obtained documents were reportedly the first revelation of the deaths linked to medical malpractice at the VA. Virginia “Jenny” Pennington’s husband, Clarice “Chuck” Pennington, was among the eight cases, whose death was allegedly caused by an internal hemorrhage stemming from a liver biopsy performed 11 hours earlier.

Pennington’s lawsuit claimed her husband had been given too much blood thinner before and after the biopsy. Later, the widow learned that the nurses caring for her husband had allegedly not checked her husband’s vital signs on a regular basis in the hours before his death, going against the hospital’s orders.

“If they would have checked on him like they should have… they would have known these things were happening,” she said.

The largest sum in the malpractice cases amounted to $275,000, and was paid after the Dayton VA allegedly failed to diagnose and treat an emergency infection in a timely manner following the patient’s hip surgery. The amount was reached in a settlement of a federal lawsuit.

According to the media outlet, another case involved the VA’s pharmacy, which allegedly dispensed an improper dose of chemotherapy medication that led to the death of a patient in January 2008. The case was resolved in a $125,000 settlement.

The documents obtained by the Dayton Daily News show the 72 claims led to 12 settlements that totaled $1.03 million. Not all of the patients’ names were included in the reports, as most were identified through the manner in which the lawsuit arose.

According to The Associated Press, a report by the Government Accountability Office shows the rise in medical malpractice cases came amid a national increase in such claims against the VA around the country. The number rose from 1,251 in 2005 to 1,670 in 2010.