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Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Brings Marion VA Medical Center Surgeons under Fire

The widow of a man who died following gall bladder surgery at the Marion VA Medical Center has accepted a settlement of almost $1 million. The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the hospital was negligent in treating the man and that it failed to perform an adequate background check prior to hiring Dr. Jose Veizaga-Mendez, the surgeon who performed the operation, resulting in the man’s wrongful death. The Chicago Tribune reported last year that Veizaga-Mendez had been operating on veterans at the Downstate hospital for more than a year after surrendering his license in Massachusetts in a disciplinary proceeding that accused him of providing “grossly substandard care” that caused his patients to suffer serious complications and death.

The Veterans Health Administration medical inspector and the inspector general of the Department of Veterans Affairs have reported that, during a 2-year period ending September 2007, 9 patients have died from substandard care at the Marion VA Medical Center, while 34 others have been seriously injured. Disciplinary actions have been taken against 6 of the facility’s surgeons and several other employees.

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