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Vet fighting VA’s attempt to use medical malpractice loophole

Few celebrations of freedom and the Fourth of July are more enthusiastic than what we have here in San Antonio. Unfortunately, not everyone was able to celebrate Independence Day with family and friends as they would have liked.

A Marine Corp veteran is struggling daily with serious health issues that are a result of a misdiagnosis that has left him in permanent pain. Because of a legal loophole, the US Department of Veterans Affairs has been able to evade financial responsibility for the medical error, the Marine said recently.

Veteran Brian Tally recalled that after he joined the Marines out of high school and served his nation, he ran a successful landscaping business that provided for him, his wife and their four children.

One day in 2016, everything suddenly changed. Severe back pain prevented Tally from getting out of bed that morning. His wife took him to a VA hospital near their California home. There he got an X-ray and some pain medication before being sent home.

He was diagnosed with a lower back sprain; a diagnosis that puzzled him and his wife because he had not injured his back.

In the days that followed, the pain intensified. Tally began to get about his home with a walker and wheelchair, struggling to get as far as the bathroom.

He was taken back to the VA, where he requested an MRI to help doctors figure out the source of his pain. VA doctors refused. So he paid for an MRI out of his pocket. The image showed that he needed immediate surgery. The VA said its schedule would require a wait of nine months for the operation.

The Marine got into the Veteran's Choice Program and was operated on within a month at a private hospital. The surgeon found that the veteran had a bone-eating staph infection that could have been detected much earlier with a simple blood test – another routine procedure the VA had failed to conduct.

The VA later denied Tally's medical malpractice claim because his doctor was a private contractor and not a VA physician.

The Marine has since hired a medical malpractice attorney to pursue compensation for the damages he says were directly caused by the misdiagnosis.

If you have been injured by a medical error, contact a lawyer experienced in successful pursuit of medical malpractice claims against the VA.

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