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VA will pay Iowa veteran $550,000 after it delayed his treatment for three years

August 31, 2017

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will pay out $550,000 to an Iowa veteran after it was found the VA delayed his treatment for three years and he suffered life-shortening heart damage because of it.

John Porter, 68, alleged that he suffered life-shortening heart damage because of the delay when he sued the VA last year in federal court in Des Moines. Porter said VA staff overlooked a test result that showed his heart was failing, according to an Associated Press report.

“Porter’s lawsuit says he went to the emergency room of the Des Moines VA hospital in October 2011 after feeling tightness in his chest, and tests showed he might have heart problems. The lawsuit said a follow-up test three weeks later showed his heart was functioning at less than half of normal levels, indicating heart failure, but no [Des Moines] VA doctors told Porter of the findings,” the Associated press reported.

Three years later, at an Arizona VA hospital, doctors found the 2011 test results and broke the upsetting news to Porter.

“The lawsuit cited a cardiologist at the Des Moines VA who later wrote that the oversight kept Porter from seeing a cardiologist promptly and that because of the three-year delay, ‘I doubt there will be much progress made’ in treating Porter,” according to the Associated Press.

“Federal lawyers’ formal response to the lawsuit acknowledged that the 2011 test was done on Porter and that the doctor said its results weren’t acted on. But they denied that the VA staff was negligent or that Porter’s life expectancy was curtailed because of the delay,” the report added.