In Oregon and across the country, veterans turn to the Veteran’s Administration for their medical needs. Health care is one of the benefits of serving in the military. Most would agree that veterans should have the highest level of health care available, but there seems to be frequent reports of substandard care at VA hospitals nationwide. One Navy veteran recently won a medical malpractice lawsuit against the VA doctor who left him with chronic issues from a surgery he performed while his license was limited in other states.
In Oct. 2015 a surgeon was publicly fined and placed on probation due to incompetence and disruptive behavior. Two months later, in Dec. 2015, the doctor was employed at a VA hospital in another state and was performing surgeries. One of these surgeries was on a 55-year-old Navy veteran who had a blocked artery in his leg. The veteran claims the doctor made mistakes during the surgery, which resulted in him suffering from severe pain and problems with his leg.
The veteran claims he had no idea the surgeon was on probation in another state or he wouldn’t have allowed him to perform his surgery. The Veteran’s Administration says it can hire doctors whose licenses are on probation but not those that are suspended. The surgeon’s license was actually eventually suspended, revoked or on probation in three states as a result of his actions in Oct. 2015. The veteran filed a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon and was awarded $950,000. The doctor denies any wrongdoing.
Unfortunately, when a doctor is accused of medical wrongdoing in one state that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she won’t be practicing medicine in another state. If a patient thinks he or she may be a victim of medical malpractice it makes sense to contact an attorney right away. An attorney can assist the victim in preservation of evidence, documentation of events and utilizing the client’s rights under Oregon law.