VA Admits Major Medical Error, Then Denies Resulting Claims | Law Firm Newswire

VA Admits Major Medical Error, Then Denies Resulting Claims

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 23, 2015 - MSNBC has released a report revealing that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) denied medical malpractice claims from more than 60 veterans even after admitting that it had wrongly exposed them to life-threatening infections.

Legal professionals and veterans alike say that the report is unsurprising.

“VA denies meritorious claims on a regular basis, and this is a striking example of that practice,” commented Jim Fausone, a veterans disability attorney not involved with any of the infection claims. Fausone is a leading member of the Michigan law firm Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC. “Unfortunately, the veterans in these cases will have to fight for the compensation they deserve, just like so many other veterans with unfair claim denials.”

In 2009, VA sent letters out to nearly 10,000 veterans, informing them that improperly cleaned colonoscopy machines at VA facilities may have exposed them to infections such as hepatitis and HIV, according to MSNBC. In the letters, VA acknowledged “serious lapses in cleaning and disinfecting equipment.”

VA offered blood testing for those exposed, and 92 veterans tested positive for a life-threatening virus, including hepatitis and HIV. But when some of those veterans filed medical malpractice claims against VA, VA denied the majority of the claims.

MSNBC interviewed two of the veterans with denied claims, and it found that VA based their denials upon the argument that it would be impossible to prove that the infections came from VA equipment and nowhere else.

“This sort of logic, in which VA uses tenuous legal arguments to deny something so obvious, is sadly characteristic of the way VA handles claims,” said Fausone. “Now, it is up to members of the legal community to fight for justice in these and so many other cases.”

Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800

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