Veteran Permanently Injured by Surgery at VA Hospital Wins Appeal

As practitioners of medical malpractice, each of our firms is dedicated to helping victims recover – no matter how long it takes. In some cases, such as the one profiled today, receiving full and adequate compensation may require initiating an appeal following an adverse or inadequate jury verdict. However, no matter what, our team of professionals is ready to take your case as far as possible to ensure a maximum possible recovery in the wake of unthinkable medical missteps.

In early March, 2016, a veteran of the United States Army was successful in defending his trial court verdict of $4.4 million. The verdict came after days of trial testimony concerning a botched surgical procedure to his arm, which eventually left him permanently wheelchair-bound and indefinitely unable to work. More specifically, the plaintiff sought treatment for tingling and numbness in his right arm, and somehow wound up as a quadriplegic. The surgery was performed at the Syracuse VA Medical Center in 2004, and the trial court entered the $4.4 million verdict nearly 10 years later.

On appeal, the VA argued that the victim’s verdict amount should be reduced based on the fact he received nearly $1.2 million in “free” medical care at the VA hospital. Moreover, the victim sought additional treatment and rehabilitation outside the VA healthcare system following the incident, and the VA argued that he should have remained in the VA system, which would have provided a much more cost-effective option than seeking outside treatment.

On appeal, the United States District Court for the Second Circuit concluded that there is no state or federal law requiring an injured malpractice plaintiff to continue seeking care within the VA system, and plaintiffs are free to seek care from the doctor and/or hospital of their choice. The appeals court further denounced the VA’s argument that the $4.4 million verdict was way too high, and held that “the only quadriplegia cases [the VA] cited appear in a footnote, and each provides for a far greater recovery than the district court awarded here.”

If you have received injuries as a result of medical malpractice, you should consult with a  reputable and skilled medical malpractice attorney who will assist you in receiving the compensation you deserve.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.