After a years-long fight, veterans will see new medical malpractice protections

| January 7, 2021

Jeff LPH 3 sent in this Military Times article. Great news for those who have been wronged by the VA’s medical system.

Veterans Affairs officials will have to provide basic legal advice to veterans who file medical malpractice claims and provide information on local staffing issues as part of new legislation signed into law this week.

The provisions, dubbed the Brian Tally VA Employment Transparency Act, were included in a massive veterans policy omnibus which passed without objection in both the House and Senate last month. President Donald Trump gave his final approval of the measure on Tuesday.

Tally, a veteran injured in a medical malpractice case five years ago, has pushed for the reforms in response to his own legal battles with VA officials. On Tuesday, he said he was exhausted by the years-long lobbying effort but satisfied that the work may help other veterans.

“What happened to my family and I and the countless others before us is downright frightening, unconstitutional and criminal,” he said. “I knew something needed to be done.”

Tally, 43, previously served as a sergeant in the Marine Corps and visited the Loma Linda Veterans Affairs Medical Center in California in 2015 after a bout of extreme back pain. Doctors diagnosed him with a back sprain and sent him home with painkillers, without any blood tests or further examinations.

After weeks without any relief — or additional help from VA doctors — Tally visited a private-sector doctor (at his own expense), where new tests showed a bone-eating staph infection causing severe spinal damage.

At the time, Tally was an active father of four and owner of his own landscaping business. Today, he is unable to walk without significant pain. His bladder is mostly non-functional. He said he spent “most of my time living in a chair” and has struggled with depression.

“My life changed in ways I could have never seen coming or ever imagined,” he said.

Tally’s family filed a claim against VA for malpractice, saying that doctors should have ordered more tests after his continued pain. But after more than a year of working with department officials on the claim, they were notified that the primary doctor involved in the case was an independent contractor, not a VA staffer.

That meant he had missed state deadlines for filing proper legal claims for his injuries. Officials did not give any reason why providing that critical information took so long.

The new legislation mandates that the department provide “notice of the importance of securing legal counsel” and clearly identify the employment status of any individuals involved in the case within a month of a veteran submitting a malpractice claim. VA officials had opposed the idea, saying it creates unnecessary burden on staff.

The new rules are not retroactive, so Tally will not directly benefit. But he said he still feels the end result is satisfying.

“This is what my family and I have longed for to effectively close out this egregious five-year chapter, turn the page and move on with our lives,” he said. “This will never happen again and ruin the lives of other veterans and their families.”

The full bill — named for former Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson and former House committee Chairman Phil Roe — also includes numerous new protections for women veterans, student veterans and veterans left with financial challenges related to the ongoing pandemic.

Category: Disposable Warriors, Veterans Issues, Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (8)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. 2banana says:

    I tell folks who want socialized medicine…go talk with a vet.

    And there will be no outside private-sector doctors either…well, maybe in Mexico.

    “After weeks without any relief — or additional help from VA doctors — Tally visited a private-sector doctor (at his own expense), where new tests showed a bone-eating staph infection causing severe spinal damage.”

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      “Cruise Ships” with -amazing- “sickbays” will take care of rich connected folks, just like they now service gambling and “strippers” just outside US legal limits.

      So will interesting “tourist clinics” in various foreign islands and countries.

  2. Ret_25X says:

    “they were notified that the primary doctor involved in the case was an independent contractor, not a VA staffer.”

    That is some straight out BS right there. It’s the kind of answer you expect from Amazon.

    It is also why “universal healthcare” won’t work in America. The government will use “independent contractors” no one will get healthcare.

    I can see the dystopian future now…everything provided by the government…the DMV in charge of customer service, cops in charge scheduling, and independent contractors doing all the work.

    Why, it’ll be like KBF or Fluor in Iraq. Provide everything, do nothing.

    • KoB says:

      But but but, SarMaj, we alls gonna getz usens another $1400 stimulus check. Unka Jo gonna sees tos it. And the bestest newz of all is Heels up Harris iz gonna teach ever ones of us the proper oral gratification teknikz

      Why fours you needz a dokter, the grubmint will tellz youse whenz youse can bees sic.

      Wherez doez eyes signz upz fourz morez of my free sh^tz? And whatz doez eyes needz tos dos wid theze hearz extry votin’ sheetz eyez gotz?

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      You get what you pay for.

      There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

      • timactual says:

        My guess is
        1) It wasn’t service connected
        2) He was not a military retiree

        Assuming I am correct, my sympathy is limited by the fact he expects me to subsidize his health care because he is too cheap to pay for it himself.

  3. Green Thumb says:

    Good.

  4. Slow Joe says:

    Everything the Left names should be understood as the exact opposite.

    Affordable Care Act = Unaffordable
    Obamacare = Obama don’t care.
    War on poverty = war on prosperity
    Free trade = free for China, restricted for us.

    Medicare for all = medicare for nobody