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VA successfully sued after failure to diagnose cancer

The brave men and women of our armed forces put their lives on the line to protect our country and our country's interests. When these individuals finish their time in the military, the very least we can do is provide them with the best healthcare available. Although the Department of Veteran Affairs seeks to provide such care through the VA hospital system, far too often this care falls short. Medical malpractice, after all, isn't a problem seen just by hospitals accessible to the general public. But just like those who are injured by hospital negligence in normal hospitals, those injured by a negligent doctor or nurse at a VA hospital may be able to recover compensation for their damages.

One man recently did just that after suing the VA for an incident that left him with terminal cancer. According to the lawsuit, the now 46-year-old man had a curable stage of prostate cancer that was missed by a nurse practitioner who failed to properly read his test results. When the man went back to the hospital 11 months later, the cancer had become terminal. The court found that the nurse practitioner should have ordered additional testing, and his or her failure to do so breached the hospital's duty of care to the patient.

Tragically, events like this are far too common. Doctors and nurses make mistakes, whether because they are tired, rushed or inattentive, and innocent individuals are left with worsened medical conditions. Filing a lawsuit against these individuals and the institutions where they work may not only lead to the recovery of compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages and other damages, but it could also serve as a deterrent, driving hospitals to take further action to prevent similar occurrences from taking place in the future.

However, as was the situation in this case, medical malpractice defendants often put up quite a fight. This is why it may be beneficial for New Jersey residents affected by medical malpractice to discuss the matter with a skilled attorney of their choosing.

Source: NBC-2, "Arizona man awarded $2.5M in medical lawsuit vs VA hospital," Jacques Billeaud, March 6, 2017

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