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This could happen to you


Berta

Question

This is a very unusual story-I am contacting his attorney because I dont know what kind of settlement he got- maybe he appealed the 1151 denial.

We had a widow here about a year ago, in the same predicament. She was trying to file for wrongful death of her husband but VA said the doctor was not a VA employee, but a private contractor-working for the VA.

When I FTCAed them I made sure that all of the doctors who malpracticed on my husband were definitely VA employees.

Still, Brian was hopeful because he said the new VA attorney handling his tort claim told him that a financial settlement was likely - and that an expert for the VA concluded his primary care physician had failed the standard of care.

"She used these exact words - the VA failed to meet the standard of care and there was a breach - and that there's liability involved and the VA is looking to settle your case," Brian said.

But eight months after he filed the claim, that same VA attorney dropped a bombshell. It turns out that Brian's physician was NOT a VA employee - she's an independent contractor for the VA, and under federal law the VA is not legally responsible for negligence by its contractors.

Why did it take the VA eight months to figure out Brian's physician was a contractor and not a VA employee? The VA won't tell us. The VA and Brian's primary care doctor ignored repeated requests for an interview.”


After months of fighting the VA, Brian did get a settlement with the help of Virginia attorney Glen Sturtevant.”

Shortly after Brian reluctantly agreed to the settlement, he received even more disturbing news from yet another VA medical evaluation performed by an outside, independent physician.

Dr. Arnold Kim wrote in his report that delays in Brian's diagnosis and surgery "allowed for further destruction of the spinal column." Kim refers to Brian's "permanent injury" and the "red flag" missed by healthcare providers at the VA.

He believes the injury to the spinal cord "also led to the veteran's current lumbar IVDS, erectile dysfunction and voiding dysfunction," and that earlier evaluation and treatment "would have likely prevented the majority of the disability from the lumbar spine injury."

Brian traveled to Washington, D.C., in September to meet with lawmakers about his proposed "Tally Bill." It would force the VA to identify independent contractors to patients and require the VA to assume at least some responsibility for medical malpractice by its independent contractors. Congressman Dave Brat of Virginia has agreed to sponsor the bill and plans to introduce it to the House of Representatives in the very near future.

https://abc7news.com/health/va-misdiagnoses-and-delays-nearly-kill-socal-veteran/4451312/


 


 

 

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He got an FTCA settlement which will offset his future Section 1151 claim. The VA made it look like they care by compensating him a small amount which they will recover before paying him his Section 1151 claim.

He ended up losing because he had to pay his attorney with the settlement money. The VA will recover the entire settlement money including attorney fees from his future Section 1151 claim.

 

There are bunch of independent contractors working as primary care physicians and psychiatrists.

 

Most residents in the one year residency program are supervised by an independent contractor at the VA or offsite. The residents are not employees of the VA.

The VA only sponsor 1% for medical and 33%(one third) for dental.

https://www.va.gov/oaa/gme_default.asp

Edited by Solo
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Interesting-

His attorney is calling me tomorrow or next week. I emailed him yesterday regarding a different FTCA situation, but he promptly responded to me ,for my phone # -maybe to discuss the other issue as well.

I wonder how Mr. Tally  got a settlement outside of the FTCA SOL. 

 

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It is all for publicity. His small FTCA SOL settlement will be recovered from his future Section 1151 claim.

His attorney knows how to negotiate. His client will eventually get the money if he applied for a Section 1151 claim. The VA just advanced him a small amount which they will recover. 

Edited by Solo
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this is insane

who'da thunk that the complexity of it all would be hidden so well that nobody would know who is liable for what

we submit ourselves through trust to the government because of our injuries serving this nation for this?

let alone to not allow us the right for due diligence if we were informed consumers

this should be a fight to the finish, the moral implications are huge

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Pwrslm -You are so right!

http://www.vawd.uscourts.gov/OPINIONS/WILSON/mcghee v. usa - amended.pdf

In this case against the VA ( USA Defendant) ,the court ruled:

 

“At the end of the day, under the contracts and in practice, the doctors had all of the hallmarks of independent contractors, and McGhee has marshaled nothing substantial to overcome that conclusion. III. For the foregoing reasons, the court will grant the government’s motion to dismiss McGhee’s claims founded on the actions of the two doctors under 12(b)(1). ENTER: March 6, 2014. ___________________________________ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE “

The “hallmarks”s regarded documentation from the firm VA paid to send independent contracting doctors to work for them. VA did not pay the doctors. So technically they did not work for VA.

Two contracting doctors apparently malpracticed on McGhee, but possibly other actual VA doctors did as well.

Veterans are not supposed to be aware of “hallmarks” of how any VA doctor ended up treating you:..

….all of .you men and women get treated by who you assume to be medical professionals that are actual VA employees.

 

This stinks- one more way VA gets away with malpractice.....

I have had input from the VA Accountability Office as to a complaint I filed with the White House.

It has and will continue to take my time away from hadit---

This is one more way,like the Tally  case, VA gets away with this crap.There are two other ways- I produced evidence of that to AOWP. 

And I will write to Congressman David Brat to support the Tally Bill.

I have been on this issue  for 20 years-VA deliberately hides their malpractice statistics, malpratice done by real VA employees.

But independent contracting doctors at VA  is something that only came up once here, when a widow was denied 1151 and FTCA on that basis.

The fact is VA doctors are fleeing from the VA.That means more independent contractors can be hired.

Maybe all vets getting VA health care should ask their PCPs if they are hired by VA, or hired by an independent contracting  firm. VA doctors do not need malpractice insurance.It is so costly that many who could never last in private practice, want to work for VA.But many are fleeing...

I wonder if these private firms have malpractice insurance.

I have been on this issue (VA Malpracice)  for many years, due to a phone call I made many ago to the OGC lawyer who settled with me.What he revealed to me is what I now consider a "deep state" at the OGC and this VApractice of hiring contractors might be a lot more prevalent than I think.....and one more way they can get out of malpractice claims.

When I assumed my dead husband's 1151 and filed my SF 95, I found out just how low the VA can go.

The OGC lawyer I dealt with told me I was too tough. You bet I was. They almost killed my husband's best friend and co worker at same VA too-another Vietnam combat vet-

He didnt want a FTCA  lump sum settlement. I got him 100% P & T under 1151 for the rest of his life. It is already a higher amount he has received under 1151, than our state cap is on settlements.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Berta
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