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Houston VA clinic accused of exposing patients to dirty water

When many Texans think of medical malpractice they think of obvious errors. Performing an operation on the wrong body part, leaving a surgical instrument inside of a patient, and failing to diagnose an obvious medical condition would all fall under the category of obvious errors. Yet, the realm of medical malpractice is much broader. In fact, hospitals can act in ways that may seem relatively harmless or inconvenient, but in reality have deadly consequences.

One recently exposed case helps illustrate the point. Recently, a former worker at the Veteran's Administration's Michael E. DeBakey Medical Center, based in Houston, came forward claiming that the Center was using unsanitary water. According to reports, the Center's water line often became compacted with mud, and the dirty water was then used at the Center. Those at the medical center who had compromised immune systems were especially susceptible water-borne illnesses, which in the end could prove fatal. The worker claims the VA denied the problem when he reported it to them, and he has yet to take any kind of legal action.

The full extent of this issue is yet to be seen. Yet, this serves as an excellent example of how something that seems so simple (clean water), can pose a significant health risk. Those who wind up harmed because of hospital negligence need to understand that they may be able to recover compensation for their damages, which may include medical expenses and lost wages.

However, succeeding on a medical malpractice or wrongful death claim can be challenging, particularly when the error was not an obvious one. The victim must establish that the defendant owed him or her a duty of care, that duty was breached, and injuries or death resulted from that breach. Those who want to learn more about how their set of circumstances may fit into a lawsuit should think about whether seeking legal counsel is right for them.

Source: Southeast Texas Record, "Former worker accuses Veteran's Administration medical center of dirty water conditions," Dawn Geske, Nov. 28, 2016

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