The VA treatment: More unbridled arrogance
The same arrogance that the Department of Veterans Affairs has exhibited throughout the appalling saga of its Pittsburgh Healthcare System's deadly 2011-12 Legionnaires' disease outbreak is on display once again as it seeks dismissal of an $8 million wrongful-death federal lawsuit filed by the widow of an outbreak victim.
The VA generally denies liability for the Nov. 23, 2012, death of World War II veteran William E. Nicklas, 87, and contends federal law bars his widow, Greta M. Nicklas, 81, of Hampton from suing it. Her lawyers disagree, saying she indeed can sue so long as the proper “preliminary procedural steps” are taken.
Some details of the lawsuit's allegations may be debated, but the facts would seem to augur well for the plaintiff's side. After all, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked the deaths of Mr. Nicklas and four others to the Legionnaires' outbreak. And the manufacturer of the VA's local water-treatment system has testified before Congress about local VA officials' repeated failures to ensure it was working properly against the bacteria that cause the disease.
However a federal judge rules on the VA's request to dismiss this lawsuit, the VA, simply by filing that request, has given itself another black eye in the court of public opinion, another reason for veterans and their families to distrust its health-care system, and another betrayal — for which it ultimately must answer — of its sacred duty to provide the best possible care for all who've worn America's uniform.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
- Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- Quake in Nepal: Send help now
- U.N. Watch: Insulting women
- Armstrong County Laurels & Lances
- Saturday essay: Cruel civilities
- The DEA scandal: Larger issues
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- Another Iran warning: Listen to Abdullah
- Auberle continues to heal