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Press Release

Defense Verdict in Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against the United States

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Timothy A. Garrison, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today a complete defense verdict in a medical malpractice, wrongful death lawsuit  brought against the United States of America under the Federal Tort Claims Act.


On Sept. 10, 2018, judgment was entered in favor of the United States following a three-day bench trial before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner that concluded on Sept. 7, 2018. The court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law was released on Sept. 10, 2018.


At 5:25 a.m. on May 9, 2014, a VA patient drove himself to the emergency room at the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo. His chief complaint was an allergic reaction to shrimp he ate earlier that night, and he also complained that he had facial swelling that started prior to his presentation to the VA. The patient was immediately admitted and evaluated by the emergency room physician within five minutes. The patient was diagnosed with an allergic reaction and treated with intravenous medications. Subsequently, he had an anaphylactic reaction and was pronounced dead at 6:58 a.m. as a result of anaphylaxis.


The court found that the evidence did not demonstrate or establish a breach or deviation from any medical standard of care by any Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care provider in providing medical care, treatment, and healthcare services to a VA patient on May 9, 2014, in the emergency department at the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  The court also found that the VA patient’s death was not caused by any VA health care provider’s negligence. The court concluded that the United States is not liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act.


This case is being defended by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew N. Sparks and Deputy U.S. Attorney Jeffrey P. Ray of the Western District of Missouri. The case was investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Updated September 11, 2018