Sickels, Frei & Mims’ Attorneys Succeed on FTCA Case

CASE RESULTS DEPEND ON A VARIETY FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY THE LAWYERS OR LAW FIRM.

Sickels, Frei & Mims is proud to announce that Chuck Sickels and Matt Perushek have secured a settlement of $495,000 for a Plaintiff in a Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) case.

Plaintiff was an Iraqi War veteran that suffered from PTSD. Plaintiff went to the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to receive treatment for his PTSD. After admitted, Plaintiff got into a verbal argument with a VA nursing assistant. The VA police were called, and Plaintiff agreed to go to an isolation room.

While Plaintiff was physically restrained by the VA police and escorted to the isolation room, a VA nursing assistant pushed Plaintiff and the VA police to the ground. While Plaintiff was on the ground, the VA nursing assistant fell onto Plaintiff’s back and neck. Plaintiff was then dragged to the isolation room. As a result of the incident, Plaintiff sustained a cervical fracture that was surgically repaired by a neurosurgeon.

Plaintiff filed an FTCA case against the United States of America. Plaintiff alleged the VA nursing assistants battered him during the incident. Plaintiff was seen by a physician hired by Defendant, who agreed that Plaintiff’s cervical fracture was caused by the incident at the VA.

Defendant filed for summary judgment, arguing that Plaintiff’s claim was barred because the VA nursing assistants’ actions were intentional and therefore outside of the scope of the FTCA. Plaintiff opposed the motion, arguing that an exception to the FTCA permitted Plaintiff to sue the United States of America when VA health care employees intentionally injure someone while furnishing medical care and treatment.

Judge Claude M. Hilton of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia agreed with Plaintiff’s position, finding that the nursing assistants were furnishing medical care when the incident occurred. Judge Hilton denied Defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The case settled at mediation shortly afterwards.

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