VA Pays Nearly $1 Million to Settle Wrongful Death Claim

arbitrationThe Department of Veterans Affairs has agreed to pay $900,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit centered on the delay by a VA scheduler in referring a melanoma patient in 2011.

The lawsuit was filed by the family of a Veteran, Cliff Douglass, who was diagnosed with melanoma in May 2011 and died in November 2012. Douglass served in the U.S. Army just after the Vietnam War and later worked in Puget Sound, Washington. According to his family, a VA scheduler had to refer him for surgery at the University of Washington but he never made the call. The cancer kept spreading for 3 months until Douglass himself made the appointment. By then, the cancer had spread throughout his body.

Recently in January 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to pay $900,000 to settle the wrongful death suit filed by Douglass’ sister Connie Olberg. According to Olberg, “I don’t think we can ask for more than that.”

It is believed that the settlement is the largest wrongful death payout by the VA Puget Sound since 2001.

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