The Dorn Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center came under fire after an inspector identified 4,000 backlogged patients from 2011 to 2012. The backlogs resulted in serious delays in diagnosis and treatments. Dorn received $1 million in federal aid to reduce the backlog and subsequent staffing problems; however, only $200,000 of that was spent. Barry Coates, one of the backlog’s victims, recently testified before a panel of VA officials.
Nine months separated Coates’s first visit to Dorn and his actual diagnosis. Despite repeated requests for a colonoscopy, VA doctors prescribed him pain and constipation medication. After much shuffling between VA hospitals, Coates got his long-awaited colonoscopy, only to find that his rectal pain was, in fact, stage four colorectal cancer which had spread throughout his liver and lungs. If it were not for the delay, Coates’s cancer would have been discovered in its infancy, before it spread throughout the rest of his organs.
After filing a complaint against the VA, he was awarded a $150,000 settlement. However, such a sum fails to compensate for all of the non-economic damages that are sustained in such a situation, including pain and suffering, depression, anxiety, and loss ability to enjoy life. A full settlement would have included compensation for the loss of quality of life, months of depression and uncertainty and the feeling of being neglected by the organization responsible for your wellbeing.
Looking For A Columbia Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice or backlogged diagnosis, our Columbia injury attorneys can help. We will recover the compensation for the physical and non-economic damages incurred by the improper medical care. For more information, call our office today.
[Did You Know: The Dorn backlog was implicated in 52 cancer cases and six fatalities.]
Proffitt & Cox, LLP- Columbia injury lawyers