On September 10, 2018, a federal judge with the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri found in favor of the defendant, The United States, in a federal tort claim action involving the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The plaintiff had alleged in his Federal Tort Claims Act lawsuit filed against The United States that medical malpractice at the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, led to the wrongful death of the patient. The federal medical malpractice wrongful death case was tried over the course of three days and ended on September 7, 2018. The federal judge who heard the case issued his findings of facts and conclusions of law three days later.
The Alleged Underlying Facts
At 5:25 a.m. on May 9, 2014, a VA patient drove himself to the emergency room at the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. His chief complaint was an allergic reaction to shrimp he ate earlier that night, and he also complained that he had facial swelling that started prior to his arrival at the VA medical center.
The patient was allegedly admitted and evaluated by the emergency room physician within five minutes, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. The patient was diagnosed with an allergic reaction and treated with intravenous medications. Subsequently, the patient suffered an anaphylactic reaction and was pronounced dead at 6:58 a.m. as a result of anaphylaxis.
The federal judge determined that the evidence presented during the trial did not demonstrate or establish a breach or deviation from any medical standard of care by any Department of Veterans Affairs health care provider in providing medical care, treatment, and healthcare services to the VA patient on May 9, 2014 in the emergency department at the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The federal judge further determined that the patient’s death was not caused by any VA health care provider’s negligence. As a result of his findings, the federal judge concluded that the United States was not liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act for the patient’s death, and entered judgment in favor of The United States.
The same VA medical center was named in a medical malpractice case filed in September 2017 for the death of an 84-year-old former U.S. Navy veteran who developed pustular lesions on his face and died after he was treated with Ceftriaxone, a drug he was allergic to and which was noted in his medical records as far back as 2008, according to the federal medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit.
If you or a loved one suffered injury (or worse) as a result of medical malpractice at a VA medical center in the United States, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who handles Federal Tort Claims Act claims and who may investigate your federal medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a federal tort claim action, if appropriate.
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