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Jeffrey C. Anderson has been recognized in Texas Monthly from 2006 - 2017 as a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service).

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San Antonio Legal Blog

Members of Congress demand answers from VA

There are 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and another 100 U.S. Senators. Some political observers were disappointed that only 31 members of Congress signed on to a recent statement urging the VA to stop hiring doctors who have had medical licenses revoked and who have histories of medical malpractice or other professional misconduct.

Among those who signed the letter sent before the Christmas break was Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke. "We need to ensure our nation's veterans receive the highest quality care from the best providers possible. For the VA to be illegally hiring doctors who failed to meet that standard in their previous jobs is very troubling and absolutely unacceptable," said Rep. Walter B. Jones of North Carolina.

Feeding tube placed in veteran's lung, not his stomach

He answered his nation's call, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during the divisive Vietnam war. According to a lawsuit Lawrence Johnson has filed against the VA Healthcare System, his patriotism and service has been repaid with substandard care that has resulted in months of hospitalization and ongoing severe health problems.

His medical malpractice claim against the VA has been filed in U.S. District Court.

VA hospitals hired doctors with malpractice histories, convictions

He had settled more than two dozen medical malpractice claims and settlements across a pair of states. The allegations against the neurosurgeon included claims that his surgical errors left one patient paralyzed from the waist down after improper placement of a device in the man's spinal canal. In another case, he reportedly inserted spinal screws incorrectly and left the patient without bladder or bowel control.

When the surgeon applied at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, he was upfront about his decidedly mixed past, noting on his job application the malpractice cases and that his license had been revoked in Wyoming (though his license to practice in Montana was still valid). The VA hired him anyway, a USA Today report reveals.

What is a federal tort claim? How does it relate to VA medical malpractice?

Lawsuits against the federal government are handled differently than civil personal injury claims. The process of suing the federal government is governed by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which involves complex requirements that do not apply to other personal injury lawsuits.

A federal tort claim may be the appropriate course of action if you or a loved one was harmed due to any of the following:

Legislation introduced to require VA provider accountability

After an investigation uncovered 88 cases of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) surgeon’s errors causing harm to veterans, the U.S. Senate is taking action to improve provider accountability

The original investigation, conducted by USA Today in October 2017, revealed such instances as the surgeon drilling the wrong screw into the bone of a veteran and severing the critical tendon of another. It was discovered that senior VA leadership knew about these serious errors and yet the surgeon was never fired or reported to a national database. He resigned quietly and moved into private practice.

Medical mistakes continue to kill Americans

Eighteen years ago, the Institute of Medicine shocked the nation with a report titled "To Err Is Human." The IOM said medical errors were a bigger problem than the health care industry acknowledged and that as many as 98,000 people died in U.S. hospitals per year because of mistakes by doctors, nurses and hospital staff.

The medical industry and members of Congress vowed to fix the problem. Yet last year, Johns Hopkins patient safety experts calculated that more than 250,000 Americans die each year due to medical error.

Lawsuit: Over-prescription of opioids led to death at VA medical facility

Efforts are ongoing to hold doctors and pharmaceutical companies accountable for their respective roles in the opioid crisis in the United States.

For years, over-prescription of painkillers has been a serious problem in medical facilities, including VA hospitals, where opioids have been prescribed to veterans dealing with a wide variety of health issues.

VA pledges to upgrade reporting of shoddy care, medical errors

Will the Department of Veterans Affairs finally get it right? Will the federal agency finally stop covering up medical mistakes and poor care? We don't yet know the answer to those questions, but the VA is pledging an overhaul of its reporting policies; an effort it says will weed out health care workers who deliver substandard care.

The new policies will change reporting of medical errors and shoddy care by doctors and dentists, as well as nurses, physicians' assistants and podiatrists, according to USA Today.

20 years later, doctor admits he lied in medical malpractice case

Nearly 20 years have gone by since a doctor was called to the witness stand to testify about the surgical skills of his partner. The surgeon was asked in a medical malpractice trial if his partner's work had ever been substandard. "No, never," he replied.

All these years later, he has a blunt admission to make about his testimony: "I lied," the 77-year-old says.

Sons Say Veteran's Records Showed He Was Allergic to Drug He Was Given

Studies show that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States, and medical errors take many forms.

Unfortunately, failure to identify patient allergies and failure to act on test results are two of the most common.