The Veteran’s Affairs Department is experiencing medical malpractice claims all across the country. The countries V.A’s are coming under fire after defective colonoscopy equipment have caused several patients to be infected with various sexually transmitted diseases, from herpes to hepatitis. Former veterans have been filing complaints in the federal court system to seek relief for this horrible accident, after their claims were initially denied by the V.A.; and, depending on the court, many of their cases have also been thrown out of court.
Nationally, colonoscopy machines used by the V.A. were experiencing defects. One example, investigators at the Murfreesboro facility in Tennessee, have determined the original water system valve on the colonoscopy machines were replaced with one intended for use during the cleaning process. These new water system valves lacked the one-way valve design, which is used to prevent backflow of bodily fluids into the water tube. These defective valves allowed residual bodily fluids from one patient to pass into the blood streams of any subsequent patient. Problems weren’t limited to midwest; an investigation of the machines used at the Bruce W. V.A. Medical Center in Miami, Fl, found medical staff had failed to perform the required cleaning between facilities from May 2004 until February 12, 2009, endangering patients. The Murfreesboro clinic sent letters to all 6,387 patients to warn them; while the Bruce W. Center sent out 3,260 letters to warn their patients of possible infections. Sixteen other V.A. facilities have were found to have not complied with colonoscopy [cleaning] guidelines, but a review panel determined that the risk of infection was minimal at those facilities, and did not send out letters.
Veterans initially filed claims with the V.A. directly, in the hopes of getting relief. In a difficult fiscal year, the V.A. denied over half of the claims. Not to be swept aside, infected veterans took to the court systems in the different federal courts. Unfortunately, the federal court system has not been kind to most. Many patients of the Murfreesboro facility had their claims dismissed. The standard of proof for causation is fairly high in Tennessee, and veterans were not able to prove their infections came from the facility. However, in Florida, the standard of proof seems to be lower, with some veterans garnering award damages that total in the hundreds of thousands. These infections have had more than just a monetary effect on the veterans, as some veterans have lost relations with their wives for fear of infected them, in some cases, putting a strain on decades long marriages.
A simple preventative procedure can turn into years of infection. Medical malpractice as a result of improper hygienic methods by medical staffers are not just limited to veterans, many across the nation are infected by unsavory medical practices. The knowledgeable St. Louis personal injury attorney’s at Meyerkord, Meyerkord & Kurth have more than a century of combined experience, and an outstanding proven track record of success with medical malpractice claims.. Likewise, our attorneys understand that you and your family’s safety is a top priority, and will vehemently fight to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Please contact us at (314) 300-3000 or (800) 391-4318 for a no-obligation assessment of your potential motor vehicle case.
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