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January 29, 2021

Veterans Receive New Medical Malpractice Protections

On January 5, former President Trump signed a bill giving greater protection to veterans who experience medical malpractice at a VA facility. The Brian Tally VA Employment Transparency Act entitles any veteran who has filed a claim against the VA for damage, injury, or death, to receive a notice within 30 days regarding the importance of obtaining legal counsel, the employment status of anyone involved in the claim, and the statute of limitations for the claim. The bill is named after Marine veteran Brian Tally, who was left unable to walk without extreme pain as a result of a bone-eating infection that VA staff members failed to diagnose. Although Tally timely filed his claim, the VA failed to disclose the employment status of the employee who committed the malpractice until it was too late. When malpractice is committed by a contractor, rather than a VA employee, the injured veteran is required to file a state claim, rather than a VA claim. Because Tally was not informed that the employee in his particular case was a contractor until after the statute of limitations in his state had expired, he and his family were left without recourse.