Government Reports on Scope of VA Medical Malpractice

Dawn Snyder | June 30th, 2014

VA Medical Malpractice LawyersAccording to government reports, the U.S. government has tragically failed to fulfill its promise to take care of veterans.

The VA medical malpractice lawyers at the Sanders Firm are investigating medical malpractice claims against the Veterans Administration; anyone who believes that they may have a case is invited to contact the Sanders Firm as soon as possible for a free evaluation of their legal options.

Medical malpractice led to deaths of veterans

According to a congressional report released last week, as many as 1,000 veterans may have died premature deaths because of delayed or incompetent health care that they received through the Veterans Administration. The breadth of the VA’s shortcomings are nothing short of stunning. They include:

  • Delaying screenings like colonoscopies so long that otherwise treatable conditions become deadly
  • Not taking vital precautions, like checking blood pressure, before performing procedures, leading to patient death
  • Failing to spot warning signs when health screenings are performed
  • Creating false waiting lists to cover up delays in care
  • Employing doctors without the proper credentials
  • Issuing improper prescriptions for narcotic drugs
  • Using unsterile medical equipment

The full scope of the VA’s incompetent care and oversight are just beginning to come to light but the government has already paid out over $1 billion to veterans and their families to settle medical malpractice claims.

 Veterans Administration ignored complaints

Not only did the veterans receive poor or delayed care, but the Veterans Administration turned a blind eye to the reports of negligent care. According to the Office of Special Counsel – the executive office agency that investigates whistle-blower complaints – the Department of Veterans Affairs dismissed complaints from its own employees about the poor care by classifying it as “harmless error.”

According to Carolyn N. Lerner, head of the Office of Special Counsel, even once the VA admitted the problems, it refused to admit that they affects the health and welfare of the veterans. Earlier this month, Eric Shinseki, the former head of the Veterans Administration, resigned over what he referred to as a “systemic, totally unacceptable lack of integrity”.

More and more deaths linked to VA malpractice

As the VA’s procedural abuses become better known, authorities are re-examining the deaths of veterans under the VA’s care and linking them to delayed or incompetent care.  For example:

  • The scheduling clerk for the Phoenix VA medical center has come forward to tell how she was instructed to manage a secret wait list to cover up delayed care and to alter records of veterans who died from the wait
  • A VA internal review has already linked 23 deaths, across 13 facilities, to delay in care – six of the 23 deaths occurred at one facility, the William Jennings Bryan Dorn veterans hospital in Columbia, S.C.

 VA medical malpractice lawyers can help

The confirmed cases of veteran death from delayed care are just the tip of the iceberg. The reports so far make it clear that as investigations continue, the number of injuries and deaths linked to VA medical malpractice may rise substantially.

The malpractice lawyers at the Sanders Firm are here to help. If you or a loved one has been injured by substandard or delayed care through the Veterans Administration, call for a free consultation to discuss whether filing a NY medical malpractice lawsuit is the right decision for you.


  1. New York Post, VA ‘misconduct’ may have led to 1,000 deaths: report, http://nypost.com/2014/06/24/va-misconduct-may-have-led-to-1000-deaths-report/

  2. New York Times, Investigator Issues Sharp Criticism of V.A. Response to Allegations About Care, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/us/top-investigator-has-blistering-criticism-for-va-response-to-whistle-blowers.html?_r=0

  3. CNN, VA deaths covered up to make statistics look better, whistle-blower says, http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/23/us/phoenix-va-deaths-new-allegations/index.html