Vincler Wrongful Death

Family Paid $800k For Wrongful Death Still Fights For Apology

Benjamin KrauseAfter a settlement from a botched surgery, the family of dead veteran Steven Vincler is still waiting for an apology following their father’s wrongful death. This is the second wrongful death news story circulating in the press within a week involving the Seattle VA hospital.

Vincler checked into the VA in Seattle for surgery but died of preventable gastric bleeding at the VA hospital on Beacon Hill. Post operation, Vincler’s daughter, Carrie Vincler Richards, found him doubled over in pain. Richards asked a nearby nurse if her father had internal bleeding. The nurse said, “no.”

No VA health care professional looked into the concern and the veteran died from a lack of action. Vincler died shortly after that point from an untreated gastric bleed and cardiac arrest. He was, apparently, bleeding internally, after all.

Will you trust VA next time they try to brush off your concerns?

VA settled the FTCA lawsuit for $800,000 after the family went through the SF-95 administrative claims process, but the agency made the settlement without admitting to wrongdoing. As a part of the settlement, VA agreed to meet face-to-face with the family for an in-person apology. Since the settlement, the family has been paid but are still waiting for the apology. They have since vowed to keep fighting for their in-person apology, and I cannot blame them.

Now, doesn’t this strike you as strange?

VA is willing to pay hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars to right the wrong but is unwilling to do the cheapest thing ever by offering a sincere apology to a wronged family.

Since 2001, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, which includes the Seattle VA, has paid out $15 million to settle malpractice claims including 16 wrongful deaths. Court records indicate 33 more veterans suffered from preventable injuries at the hands of VA health care staff.

So what is going on at the Seattle VA hospital?

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  1. When I was practicing law, of all the medical malpractice cases I handled or was involved in, I did a follow-up study. Over 70% of the people who received 7-figure settlements stated categorically that all they ask the hospital and the doctor for to start with was an apology and paying for the medical bills for fixing the problem. The others either lost the loved one and/or were so angry at the poor treatment they received that they would have sued anyway. Very interesting result. I shared that study with a CLE on medical malpractice and the defense bar that was there were stunned.

    1. This just keeps happening and the VA keeps paying out for THIER mistake and what is really done about this. Even when the media gets involved it still will go on as if nothing happened and yet this family lost someone dear to them and the VA thinks it is worth $800K to basically shut them up. How can they come up with an amount that justifies the wrongful and unnecessary death of a fellow vet. When You watch the video and it shows the payouts by the VA, that is something that was very interesting to me. That shows that the VA is continuously killing us off and paying our loved ones to keep quiet about it. That is wrong on so many levels. The VA hard at work. No wonder they can’t treat us correctly, they are spending too much hush money out instead of putting it towards actually helping us vets get what we should be getting.

  2. I had gone to the Seattle VA for 10 yrs. before moving back to IN because I thought the Seattle VA’s care was not that good. I was diagnosed with an Iron deficiency anemia in July 2012 and could not get an answer from the Seattle VA as to what was causing this. I also developed a bad pain under my ribs while this was going on in around May of 2014. I was told it was most likely Chron’s, or Irritable bowel syndrome and nothing more was done except to give me gas-x to try and help.
    I finally got tired of that VA and moved back to my home state of IN and the Indy VA tells me that I am cured of the iron deficiency anemia, all of my levels are now higher than they have ever been, and even my service connected disability of 30 yrs. is now no longer there as they cannot find anything wrong with me. How does that happen? because the Indy VA will not look at my Seattle VA records and has no idea of what has been going on. but that is getting off of the subject.
    My pain under my ribs continued after my move back to IN and it finally was so bad that I was almost doubling over in pain. My first visit to the Indy VA’s ER, I was told that it was most likely just gas and given Maalox. After two more days of dealing with that pain I went back to the ER and this time they scanned my abdomen and saw that I had a 2.3cm stone stuck in the neck of my gallbladder and the gallbladder had sludge, was swollen, and the wall was thickened. They removed the gallbladder and since then the pain and problems that I complained about at the Seattle VA have went away. I was told the this was a chronic problem and had been going on for a while. I believe to this day that that was what was causing the pain when I was at the Seattle VA and even though I complained about it continuously, nothing was done and it was not taken seriously. If they would have done something to check on it, they would have caught it and maybe something could have been done and I would still have my gallbladder. I don’t know it something could be done because of this as I feel I had complained, it is in my records about the constant complaining and yet it was treated as nothing. I am not surprised about any VA Healthcare System and any problem they have. Someday us vets will take back the VA and get what we deserve.

  3. Martinez, California and Mare Island VAMHC have lying, incompetent doctors too! Martinez neurologist and other last in their class medical personnel kill veterans, either they do it slowly or outright. Nothing happens to these people! I can’t refer to them as anything but %$#%$#@*& er’s!

    1. Besides, an apology won’t be coming! BECAUSE THE VA Medical is like that. They just say, “NEXT!” Ever noticed the room full of body bag’s at your local VA Medical Center?

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