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Drunk and High: VA doctor responsible for deaths of three and makes over 3,000 errors before being dismissed from duty

August 22, 2019

VA doctor Robert Levy responsible for the deaths of three veterans and over 3,000 medical errors. Source: Washington County Sheriff’s Department via Associated Press.

This Veterans Administration doctor in Arkansas was arrested last week for intentionally botching diagnoses, falsifying records to cover his tracks, and working while drunk and on drugs.  Back in 2016, the pathologist was suspended after he was found to be drunk on duty with an incredibly high blood alcohol content of .396. He returned to work months later after completing a treatment program, only to be suspended again in October 2017, when it was discovered he was taking drugs while on duty.

His impairment while working was shown to have caused the deaths of at least three veterans – but there may be more victims. In the 34,000 cases this doctor handled since 2005, outside pathologists re-reviewing the slides found more than 3,000 errors, an error rate more than 12 times higher than the “normal” error rate.  As quoted in the New York Times, yesterday:

“This indictment should remind us all that this country has a responsibility to care for those who have served us honorably,” Duane Kees, the United States attorney for the western district of Arkansas, said in a statement. “When that trust is violated through criminal conduct, those responsible must be held accountable. Our veterans deserve nothing less.”

A criminal conviction would indeed hold this doctor accountable, but it will bring little comfort to those veterans who suffered injury and death due to this doctor’s gross negligence. If these errors date back to 2005, were there warning signs before it got to the point where the doctor’s BAC was .396 on a duty day? What internal reviews and quality control measures were in place to protect the veterans from this frequency of errors and negligent, criminal behavior? Should the VA be held accountable as well?

If you believe your military or VA doctor was under the influence and made errors while caring for you or a family member causing serious injury or death, we can help.  For a free, confidential consultation, please call us at 877-695-8757, e-mail us at LawHelp@MilitaryMedicalMalpractice.com, or fill out the short form on the right side of this page.


Source & to read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/21/us/veterans-affairs-doctor-deaths-trial.html



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