Since making national headlines years ago, shining light on the Phoenix Veterans Administration scandal, the first case against the VA hospital alleging malpractice is heading to federal court on Monday.
Allegedly, government officials falsified data regarding wait times for veterans to see doctors at VA hospitals.
Steven Cooper, an 18-year U.S. Army veteran, is accusing the veterans medical center of denying him access to care and failing to diagnose him with advanced prostate cancer.
Cooper’s lawyer says that Cooper was seeking treatment at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in 2011 but couldn’t get in to see a doctor because his appointments kept either getting cancelled or rescheduled.
He was finally able to see a nurse practitioner, but according to the lawsuit, he received no further testing and received no further treatment even though the results for his prostate exam were abnormal.
After one year had passed, he was able to see a VA doctor who diagnosed him with stage four prostate cancer.
The lawsuit says that the doctor recommended hospice care as opposed to other forms of treatment.
After major surgery, Cooper is still terminally ill. Cooper is seeking $50 million in damages from the VA hospital.
Hearings over the lawsuit began Monday.
The VA hospital has been criticized for years over scheduling issues, that according to VA internal investigations in 2014, have killed veterans waiting for treatment.