Many Ohioans believe that veterans deserve the best possible medical care due to the sacrifices that they often must make in the interest of keeping the country safe. However, a class-action lawsuit alleges that thirteen plaintiffs not only received substandard care from a podiatrist with a Veterans Administration health care system in northern Indiana but that federal government employees knowingly concealed the negligence from veterans treated at the facility.

It is not completely clear what the negligent treatment consisted of, but a 2017 internal review at the facility indicated that a small percentage of the podiatrist’s patients received substandard care over a seven-year period from 2009 to 2016. After reporting the physician to the Indiana Board of Podiatry and terminating his employment, officials of the VA identified the patients affected and called them into a meeting to apologize and inform them of their options. At the meeting, the thirteen affected veterans met with the succeeding podiatrist and other Fort Wayne VA officials, who informed the one-time patients that they were victims of medical malpractice and provided them with an application form to file disability claims. 

However, the Veteran’s Administration denied all thirteen claims on the basis that the applicants had not filed them within two years of the alleged negligent treatment. A public relations officer for the involved VA health care system alleges that statute of limitation calculation depends on the time that the claimant knew or should have known that he or she received substandard care.

In addition to the class-action suit, each plaintiff reportedly intends to file individual medical malpractice claims as well. Patients should never have to suffer for a physician’s mistake, and those who do may wish to discuss their specific cases with an attorney.