The news broke late Friday that a former employee at a VA hospital in Virginia was found to have been hoarding "20 to 30 boxes" containing a large number of veterans' medical records, benefits applications, and other claims in a rented storage unit. It appears that these documents span about a five-year period from 2011 to 2015.
The former employee, who was fired in August 2015, had been employed by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and worked at the Veterans Benefits Office at the McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond.
Why on earth the former employee was doing this and whether this means that some veterans' applications for disability benefits and claims against the VA for medical malpractice were lost, misplaced, or delayed remains to be seen. The extent to which the private personal information of these veterans and their family members has been compromised also is unclear at this early stage, but one would reasonably expect that there could be significant legal consequences for those involved.
The records were apparently only found after the contents of the fired employee's storage unit were recently sold at auction and the winning bidder found the sensitive documents and alerted law enforcement.
The Virginia State Police is investigating this significant privacy breach and says that the affected veterans will be notified.
We have dealt with the McGuire VA and their lawyers on many cases. If we can assist you in helping to untangle this mess, please contact us at www.vet4vet.net or 1-877-Vet-4-Vet.
Links to the news articles are below: