An elderly Pennsylvania Marine Corps veteran was at a hospital in 2011 undergoing treatment for small cell lung cancer. However, the former soldier died of Legionnaire’s disease while at the hospital. His family is now seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs and other damages.
The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Health Care System recently. Doctors’ negligence can often have fatal consequences for their patients. The law allows you the possibility to take action in court if the negligence of a physician results in the death of a loved one.
According to this lawsuit, the veteran was exposed to the disease at the hospital. Physicians delayed testing him for the disease although he had shown its symptoms early on, the lawsuit claims. Doctors at the hospital reportedly knew that there was an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease sweeping across the facility.
The veteran refused further chemotherapy citing his bad experience at the medical center. He was later transferred to a palliative care unit, where he passed away after a few weeks.
Veterans are entitled to reasonable care in treatment just like everyone else. It is important that this right is protected. After spending a significant part of their lives dedicated to their country, veterans can reasonably expect respect and competent care from those trusted to care for them.
Coming to terms with the death of a loved one is difficult enough. Having to deal with the legal red tape may be more than you can handle. You may consider seeking the assistance of a Pennsylvania attorney to help you understand your rights if you are coping with a wrongful death.
Source: Stars and Stripes, “Family of Marine Corps vet sues Pittsburgh VA for wrongful death,” Kristen Doerschner, May 7, 2014