Lawsuit Against VA Hospital for Malpractice

 In Medical Malpractice

Veteran Sues Government For $4 Million: Alleges Malpractice by Northport VA Hospital

All doctors, nurses, and medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients. In addition to the oaths they take to treat people, there are legal obligations. The law requires that medical professionals, including people who own and operate medical facilities, take reasonable care of their patients. They must do what a reasonable person would do in the same or similar circumstances. Precisely what conduct is reasonable, can differ in various situations.

When a healthcare professional who owes a duty of care, breaches the duty, and injuries occur, a malpractice case may result. The victim must prove that if the doctor were not negligent, he or she would not have had the injuries. If the outcome would have been the same, there is no case. Recently, a local veteran of the armed forces filed a big lawsuit against the government for malpractice that occurred at a nearby VA hospital.

Attack on Veteran Caused Lifelong Injuries that Led him to Seek Treatment From Northport VA

Gary Zambito had to leave military service at the age of 20 when he was beaten into unconsciousness by a group of anti-war demonstrators. After the attack in 1970, he suffered for 50 years from related health problems including high blood pressure, fainting episodes, and heart issues. According to the New York Daily News, which reviewed his court documents, Zambito pursued a cardiology referral at the Northport VA Hospital in 2015 after his fainting spells became more frequent and “ended in blackouts.” Zambito told the Daily News he could not, at that time, afford the cost of private health care.

Benjamin Pomerance, a deputy director of the New York VA liaison office told the Daily News,

“What Mr. Zambito got instead from Northport VAMC was lies, broken promises, negligence, misconduct, further physical injuries, extraordinary mental strain and exhaustion, a set of multiple falsified medical records, an attending urologist whom Mr. Zambito simply cannot trust any longer.”

Veteran Claims Hospital Failed to Diagnose Cancer and More

Zambito has sued the government for 4 million dollars in damages. He alleges that the VA and its doctors committed malpractice and negligence by failing to diagnose him with kidney cancer when they should have been able to. He alleges that the hospital also failed to treat him for a heart problem that was causing fainting spells. While the case is pending, the Daily News claims that the attorney general has begun a criminal investigation into the “malfeasance” of the clinic.

Zambito claims that he suffered from 18 fainting spells which caused injuries to his eyes, hands, and knees. He alleges that no one connected the fainting spells to the heart problems he told the doctors about, despite his suggestions that they were. After three years, Zambito went to a private doctor who made the correct diagnosis and put him on medication that immediately cured the fainting.

Veteran Says Malpractice Resulted in Serious Injuries that Would Not Have Occurred with Reasonable Care

As Zambito said, “If they had given me that medication 14 months earlier, I would never have had those 18 (fainting spells) and never have suffered my five permanently disabling injuries, which are all service-related because they were caused by the attack on the naval facility.”

It will be interesting to see how the court interprets the facts in this case and what the Attorney General finds during the investigation. Is the standard for all doctors and hospitals the same? Does the VA have a lower standard of care? Can a hospital or doctor’s actions be so negligent as to be criminal in nature?

Contact Us If You are the Victim of Malpractice

Call Alonso Krangle, LLP and speak with our personal injury attorneys if you have received negligent medical care at the VA or any other hospital. We can provide a free evaluation of your medical malpractice case.