Veteran’s Wrongful Deaths Result in $200 Million VA Settlement

file000438401683They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that is what we do here at Solnick & Associates, LLC. We focus on educating the public about their rights and how to handle legal issues that may come up in their lives. With that said, let’s revisit the $200 million VA settlement from back in 2014 that was supposed to be the answer to veterans’ wrongful deaths.

The Stories Behind the Lawsuits

A Gulf War veteran at the VA in Coatesville, Pennsylvania psychiatric ward overdoses on antidepressants. In the meantime, the staff at the VA observe the veteran mumbling, but do not take any action for three hours. By the time they decide to do anything, the veteran is dead.

A physician at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center notices a large mass in the chest x-ray of a veteran patient, but does not inform the veteran about the mass until 10 months later. By the time the physician decides to tell the veteran about the mass, the lung cancer has spread and it is beyond treatment. Another veteran at the same medical center received gall bladder surgery, but the attending physicians fail to administer anticoagulation therapy after the surgery was complete. The veteran patient ended up dying of a blood clot.

Several decorated Iraq War veterans were turned away from mental health treatment that they requested and ended either shooting or hanging themselves. Many cancerous tumors were overlooked and allowed to grow, even after being identified by physicians. There were also a long list of missed diagnoses, surgeries that were botched, and elderly veterans that were fatally neglected.

Wrongful Death Payments

These are only a few of the unfortunate and preventable stories that occurred that led to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to paying out $200 million in wrongful death payments to the families of the veterans who died. The wrongful death payments were dispensed to nearly 1,000 grieving families, 36 of those families live in Pennsylvania. “It wasn’t about the money, I just thought somebody should be held accountable,” Doris Street, 86-year-old sister of veteran, Carl Glaze. Street was paid $135,000 in 2010 for the wrongful death of her brother, who fell in the bathroom of a VA nursing home, became paralyzed from the neck down, and died nine days later.

Mrs. Street’s mindset is our point, too. If someone you love lost their life because the VA was negligent, you need to come forward and tell your story. You need to find a Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney and hold the VA accountable for the death that they caused. Remember that there are legally binding time restrictions for wrongful death cases, so time is of the essence. Contact a wrongful death attorney at Solnick & Associates, LLC today for a free consultation to find out the legal remedies that you can pursue. We want to help you make it through this difficult time.


(image courtesy of Mary R. Vogt)