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Serious injuries and deaths are occurring as a result of medical malpractice in VA hospitals across the nation. Should a patient or patient’s family consider filing a federal tort claim for injuries when this occurs?

The Federal Tort Claims Act covered under Title 28 of the US Code is the appropriate statute to use in cases where medical malpractice or negligence in the VA is suspected. A tort claim must be filed within two years of the action. The claims are complicated by procedural and evidentiary hurdles, but a competent lawyer would be able to evaluate medical records and prosecute a claim where a breach of the standard of care has occurred.

A recently reported incident in Florida is an example of the great harm that poor VA care can cause:

When a doctor at Jacksonville Naval Hospital told Petty Officer Thomas Hugaboom to take his 8-month-old son Michael home, he didn’t hesitate. As an enlisted man, he understood the importance of following orders.

But doctor’s orders in this case led to tragic consequences. The infant’s bacterial meningitis had been misdiagnosed as chicken pox. By the time the child died days later, the sores on his skin were so inflamed that doctors mistook them for burn marks, according to the family’s lawyer.


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