A recent report by the center for investigative reporting reveals that the Department for Veterans Affairs spent over $2 Million settling nearly 1000 wrongful death suits across the county.
And some of those happened right here in our region.
Thirteen of those cases happened right here in Indiana, including several at our local VA Hospitals in Fort Wayne and Marion.
The report, published in April, comes as the Veterans Administration is under fire from legislators and veterans over issues from long waits to delays in treatment.
A report from the Dayton Daily News earlier this month found the VA had paid out for nearly 1200 malpractice claims nationally- and in 167 of them, the suits included "delay of treatment."
Both the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Dayton Daily News have searchable databases on their web sites.
You can search by state, and even VA Hospital, and it will list all settled wrongful death suits filed against the facility.
The database shows when the suit was filed, and when it was settled- along with the alleged charges, and for how much each suit was settled for.
Both databases show two lawsuits brought against the Fort Wayne VA, with the settlements totaling $400,000.
The databases show at least three settled suits against the Marion facility, totaling just over $110,000.
We reached out to the VA Northern Indiana Health Care system today.
Public affairs officer Michael Brady sent us a statement, saying-
"The department of veterans affairs (VA) cares deeply for every veteran we are privileged to serve. Our goal is to provide the best quality, safe and effective health care our veterans have earned and deserve. We take seriously any issue that occurs at any one of the more than 1,700 VA health care facilities across the country.
Any adverse incident for a veteran within our care is one too many.
When an incident occurs in our system we aggressively identify, correct and work to prevent additional risks. We conduct a thorough review to understand what happened, prevent similar incidents in the future, and share lessons learned across the system.
We cannot discuss specific claims at this time. However, when an adverse event occurs, VHA contacts the patient or their representative when the patient has either been harmed or may have been harmed during their care - this is known as an institutional disclosure. VHA's first priority is to notify the patient or their representative of the adverse event, as well as the patient's rights and recourse. VHA is committed to a process of full and open disclosure to veterans and their families.
VHA's disclosure of adverse events is consistent with the practices of a transparent organization. This level of transparency is a best practice in the U.S. medical community. Our transparency is based in a respect for our patients, America's veterans, and a philosophy that transparency improves the care we provide.”
We reached out to Congressman Marlin Stutzman's office today, but he was unavailable to comment.
However, he is expected to speak about two House bills moving through congress in the next few days.
Check out both databases at-