$25 million lawsuit against Buffalo VA dismissed

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A $25 million medical malpractice lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Buffalo has been dismissed in U.S. District court.

Following a 17-day civil trial, senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny exonerated the Buffalo VA Thursday, ruling that the two plaintiffs had failed to prove their malpractice claims.

Plaintiffs Edward and Roxanne Blake sought damages from the VA claiming that the VA had failed to diagnose and treat cauda equina syndrome in a timely manner, claiming that VA physicians had failed to diagnose Blake with the disorder when he visited June 29 and 30, 2006.

Cauda equina syndrome is  a sudden compression of the nerves of the lower spine which can result in severe neurological impairments.

Skretney determined that Blake first showed symptoms of cauda equina syndrome at the VA July 1, 2006 in the afternoon, and that he underwent surgery within 24 hours.

The judge found that the VA doctor’s treatment of Blake was “well within the standard for treating cauda equina syndrome in a timely manner”.

During the trial, the plaintiffs presented testimony from nine witnesses, including seven medical doctors. The defense countered with the testimony of neurosurgeon Dr. Douglas Moreland.


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