Class action suit alleges negligence at VA hospital

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Photo credit Photo courtesy of Dreamstime/VA

Thirteen people have filed a class action lawsuit in federal court, alleging they received negligent care from a doctor at the Veterans Administration Northern Indiana Health Care System in Fort Wayne and Marion.

The complaint, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne, lists the United States of America as the defendant. The suit states “employees or agents of the federal government” knew of negligent podiatric care and treatment provided by Dr. Bradley R. Hammersley between 2009 and 2016 and “concealed the same from each of the plaintiffs and other similarly situated veterans.”

In early 2018, according to the complaint, each plaintiff was called to a meeting with Fort Wayne VA officials, including the “succeeding podiatrist.”

“During their respective meetings, each plaintiff was informed that he or she was the victim of medical malpractice at the hands of Dr. Hammersley,” the complaint states.

Plaintiffs were provided information detailing the medical care and treatment and specific acts of medical malpractice by Hammersley. Each plaintiff was also advised of the claims process and given disability claims application forms, the complaint said.

After filing forms, “each plaintiff received a letter from the VA denying his claim as being time barred because the claim had not been presented within two years of the alleged negligent treatment by Dr. Hammersley,” the complaint states.

Each plaintiff will be filing individual medical malpractice actions in connection with the medical care they received from Hammersley, the complaint said.

The 13 plaintiffs, all veterans, according to the lawsuit, are seeking an unspecified amount in damages, including costs and attorneys fees.

Officials at the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

The plaintiffs who filed the complaint are Vincent J. Colombini of Berne; Billy McGuire of Kendallville; Martin L. Heifner of Grover Hill, Ohio; Robert J. Swisher of Uniondale; Derrick S. Link of New Haven; John D. Gross of Fort Wayne; Deborah K. (Fortier) Rogers of Kokomo; Michael A. Garman of Fort Wayne; Jerry W. Kittle of Huntertown; Carisa A. Snyder of Fort Wayne; Deborah K. Smith of Columbia City; Ephraim N. Shields of Fort Wayne;  and Marshall Phillips Jr. of Fort Wayne.

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