The Brian Tally VA Employment Transparency Act (“Act”) was signed into law on January 5, 2021. The Act provides that any veteran or family member who has filed a claim against the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (“VA”) for damage, injury, or death is entitled to receive a notice from the VA, within 30 days, regarding legal counsel, the employment status of anyone involved in the claim (including whether they work for the VA or they are a contractor), and the statute of limitations for the claim.
The Act is named after Marine veteran Brian Tally, who received care through the VA in 2016 for debilitating back pain that left him unable to stand or walk. At the VA, he was treated by a doctor who negligently failed to diagnose the bone-eating staph infection in his spine, leading to life-threatening injuries. Tally thought that the doctor at the VA was a VA employee, but the doctor turned out to be an independent contractor. The VA delayed acting on his Federal Tort Claims Act claim until it belatedly advised Tally that the doctor who treated him at the VA was a contractor and not its employee. By that time the state statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims had expired, and Tally, and his claim, were out of luck.
Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, stated after the bill passed in the Senate in December 2020, “This bipartisan, bicameral bill will rectify the VA’s gross administrative neglect and restore legal options to our country’s veterans when they are wronged by the VA or a VA contractor. It is simply unacceptable that the VA is failing to properly notify our country’s veterans about their options when they file legal claims, essentially robbing them of their rights. Veterans must have the ability to seek legal recourse in cases of medical malpractice or other negligence – period.
Tally stated after the Act was signed into law, “All veterans and their families will now have the accountability and transparency they deserve in a timely manner from the highest levels of the Department of Veterans Affairs after falling victim to VA medical malpractice. I’m exhausted, relieved and proud all at the same time to have finally crossed the finish line and receive this much-needed mental closure. This is what my family and I have longed for to effectively close out this egregious five-year chapter. We can now turn the page and move on with our lives knowing this will never happen again and ruin the lives of other veterans and their families.”
A second proposed law named after Tally, the Brian Tally VA Medical Care and Liability Improvement Act, which would have subjected VA health care contractors to the Federal Tort Claims Act provisions, expired without passage at the conclusion of the 116th Congress.
If you or a loved one suffered harm as a result of medical malpractice involving a VA medical facility, you should promptly find a federal medical malpractice lawyer (Federal Tort Claims Act lawyer) who may investigate your VA medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a Federal Tort Claims Act medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Click on the “Contact Us Now” tab to the right, visit our website, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find federal medical malpractice attorneys who may assist you.
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