CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Attorneys have until an August deadline to file additional civil lawsuits on behalf of families whose loved ones died under suspicious circumstances at a West Virginia veterans hospital.
Charleston attorney Tony O’Dell told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that he will work to file on behalf of families until the deadline, which is the two-year anniversary since information on the investigation went public into suspicious deaths at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg.READ MORE: 'Strawberry Moon' Shines As Final Supermoon Of 2021
“We are still looking into a few,” O’Dell told The Associated Press in an email.
Reta Mays, a former nursing assistant who admitted killing seven elderly veterans at the hospital with fatal injections of insulin, was sentenced last week to life in prison by a federal judge who called her “the monster that no one sees coming.”
A VA report released last week showed the families of 24 patients submitted inquiries to the hospital or the federal government after the events were first reported in the media.
The VA’s Office of Inspector General reviewed the electronic health records of more than 200 patients at the hospital in an effort to identify potential victims beyond the 10 patients initially identified by investigators.
The OIG’s Office of Healthcare Inspections identified 112 patients who died on Mays’ floor at the hospital during her employment, which started in mid-2015 until she was fired in July 2018. And 66 patients suffered at least one hypoglycemic event during her employment.READ MORE: Overnight Shooting In Fineview Leaves Man In Critical Condition
According to the VA report, there were 21 deaths of patients whose electronic health records indicated either hypoglycemic events, a lack of documentation, abnormal clinical decline or death pending imminent transfer to lower levels of care.
O’Dell said the report was not clear if the 21 deaths were separate from the 10 earlier deaths identified earlier.
The federal government previously agreed to the settlement of numerous lawsuits filed by veterans’ families alleging a widespread system of failures at the hospital. O’Dell represented many of the families in those lawsuits.
Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal announced after the sentencing that the hospital had agreed to 15 recommendations from its investigation.
Among the findings were missteps in hiring and performance assessments at the hospital, unsecured medication rooms and carts on the ward where Mays worked, a lack of clinical evaluations of unexplained hypoglycemic events, delayed reporting and response to the events, and deficient monitoring and oversight functions.MORE NEWS: New Study Ranks Several Pennsylvania Institutions As Some Of Best Employers For College Graduates
(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)