Tentative settlements in WVa veterans' hospital deaths
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Preliminary settlements have been reached in several civil lawsuits filed on behalf of the families of veterans who died in a West Virginia hospital where a former home nurse admitted deliberately killing seven people using fatal doses of insulin.
The settlements were announced Saturday by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and on federal court files following the deaths of six veterans at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg.
Suggested billing amounts are between $ 700,000 and $ 975,000. According to the court records, a hearing is scheduled for November 20th.
Manchin said in a statement that the provisional settlement "is further evidence that the VA and Clarksburg VAMC were negligent in the murders that took place under their surveillance."
The deaths of veterans in the settlements occurred in 2018.
The discharged nursing assistant Reta Mays pleaded guilty in July of deliberately killing seven patients with false insulin injections. Mays, 46, has to face life in prison for each of the seven second-degree murders. No date has been set for the sentencing.
Mays admitted at a hearing that she deliberately killed the veterans and injected them with nonprescription insulin while working night shifts at the northern West Virginia hospital between 2017 and 2018. Your motive is still unclear. US attorney Bill Powell said authorities had not received a "satisfactory answer" to questions about the reasons for their actions.
It is not clear whether Mays has admitted any link to the death of Navy veteran Russell R. Posey Sr. In addition to her second-degree murder petitions, she pleaded guilty to murder with intent to commit a murder resulting in the death of "Veteran R.R.P." - Posey's initials.
Tony O'Dell, a Charleston attorney who represents families on five of the six settled cases, said he also filed a pending unlawful death lawsuit involving veteran Charles Dean, who died in hospital in April 2017 reported The Exponent Telegram. This would be the earliest death in hospital for which a claim has been made. O'Dell said his company is also looking into 11 other deaths at the facility.
"These families deserve answers, as do the veterans currently relying on Louis A Johnson VA Medical Center for much-needed care," O’Dell said in a statement.
The VA is the second largest division in the government and is responsible for 9 million military veterans. The agency's former director was fired in 2018 following a bloody ethics scandal and mounting rebellion within the agency. Robert Wilkie took over the position of Veterans Affairs Secretary in July 2018.
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