The VA Medical Center in Marion has agreed to pay $975,000 to Katrina Shank, whose husband, Robert Shank III, bled to death after former staff surgeon Dr. Jose Veizaga-Mendez operated on him.
Shank’s lawsuit claimed that hospital officials failed to perform adequate background checks on Veizaga-Mendez. At the time he was hired, Veizaga-Mendez was under investigation for incompetence leading to at least two deaths in Massachusetts.
“I can’t imagine how even the most rudimentary check of the last hospitals he was on staff at would not have revealed gigantic problems,” Shank’s attorney said.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs investigators subsequently found that substandard care killed at least nine patients at the Marion hospital between October 2006 and March 2007, including several whom Veizaga-Mendez had operated on.
Final note: Protect your organization by conducting thorough background checks on all critical employees.
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