Since 1999, we have represented nearly 700 veterans or military families. Unfortunately, we are not able to help everyone who contacts us, but we have been able to assist many of them. Our cases are as varied as the people who seek our assistance. Below are some examples of the sorts of cases we handle – and outcomes of which we are especially proud.
Disclaimer: THE RESULTS ARE SPECIFIC TO THE FACTS AND LEGAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF EACH OF THE CLIENTS' CASES AND SHOULD NOT BE USED TO FORM AN EXPECTATION THAT THE SAME RESULTS COULD BE OBTAINED FOR OTHER CLIENTS IN SIMILAR MATTERS WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE SPECIFIC FACTUAL AND LEGAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF EACH CLIENT'S CASE.
$800,000: Misread Ultrasound Leads to Wrongful Birth
The wife of an active duty JAG officer underwent intracytoplasmic sperm injection to become pregnant with their first child. She received prenatal care at a military facility in Washington, undergoing two ultrasounds. The parents were not advised of any potential complications. A third ultrasound revealed a major heart deformity. The child was born with a significant birth defect, and survived for about six months. The couple was forced to watch, powerless, as their child suffered and passed away. The government settled their lawsuit for $800,000, without taking a single deposition.
$800,000: Doctors Ignored Indications of Serious Heart Conditions
A physician’s assistant at a VA facility in Arizona ignored the clear indications of a serious heart condition in an otherwise healthy 62 year old Navy veteran. He died while awaiting a delayed cardiac stress test and we were able to get his family an $800,000 settlement.
$525,000: Settlement for Air Force Veteran After Negligent Surgery at California VA Hospital
The veteran, who had a history of a cyst in his brain that caused facial tics and arm weakness, underwent surgery to drain the cyst and placement of a shunt to alleviate pressure on his brain at the San Diego VA hospital in 2016. After the surgery, the veteran began experiencing slurred speech, right-sided facial drooping, and double vision. After the review of the brain imaging by a Board-certified neurosurgeon, we determined that the shunt placed during the surgery at the VA hospital was inserted much too far into the veteran’s skull, putting pressure on his brain stem and causing the post-surgery symptoms he experienced.
$250,000: Vietnam Veteran Heart Condition Went Ignored
Our client, the veteran’s widow, lost her husband too soon after he passed away from a heart attack that went ignored by his medical providers at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. All the signs and symptoms of an impending heart attack were there, and this veteran told his doctors on several occasions. He did everything he was supposed to do. But his doctors never got him to a cardiologist in time. He devastatingly passed away..
$225,000: Administrative Settlement for Daughter of a Veteran
Our client was the daughter of a deceased veteran, who died from a deep vein thrombosis after he was negligently treated and prematurely and inappropriately discharged by the medical staff at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. The veteran was 68 years old at the time of his death and left behind his daughter, a granddaughter, and great granddaughter.
$225,000: Healthcare Providers Fail to Place Feeding Tube Correctly, Resulting in Sepsis and Continued Medical Struggles
Our client had been diagnosed with Stage III squamous cell cancer, located at the base of his tongue, and was undergoing chemotherapy for that condition. Given the location of the cancer, he would often rely on the placement of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (“PEG”) tube for consumption of food and/or drink. Ultimately, the feeding tube was placed incorrectly, resulting in sepsis and other bodily injuries. Our client experiences recurrent problems related to the incorrectly placed PEG tube. We were able to settle this case at $225,000.
$475,000: Female Veteran Suffers Complications Following Anesthesia
A female veteran underwent a relatively routine procedure at a VA facility in Oregon. While under anesthesia, a nurse committed a careless error that left the veteran with a complex complication. After denying liability for years, the VA finally settled the case for $475,000 on the eve of trial.
$1,000,000: Army Veteran Develops Breathing Difficulties
Following a relatively minor procedure a 42 year old Army veteran in Georgia develops breathing difficulties. The VA healthcare providers try to place a breathing tube eleven times without success. By the time one is finally inserted correctly it is too late and the patient died a few days later. After a hard fight through both the claim process and litigation, the VA finally settled for $1,000,000.
$975,000: Settlement for Veteran After Navy Doctors Missed Wife’s Breast Cancer Until Too Late
Our client’s wife got the worst news imaginable. Her Navy doctors told her that she had terminal breast cancer. The cancer was so advanced that she died just a month later. We took on the case to help her surviving husband, a veteran, try to pick up the pieces from the loss of the love of his life. We scoured the medical records and studied the radiology imaging. It turned out that the Navy had mammogram and MRI imaging going back years that very clearly showed the breast cancer. Sadly, the breast cancer was visible and should have been picked up on early enough that our client’s late wife could have been saved. We aggressively pursued this case to get some semblance of justice and were satisfied to win a near-million dollar settlement for our client.
$500,000: Veteran Suffered Preventable Stroke
This 58 year old veteran at the time, presented to the Milwaukee VA Medical Center for a routine appointment. During this visit, his vitals were checked, and his blood pressure was normal, but his pulse was 161 bpm – a sign of severe tachycardia. However, our client was not made aware of this, and nothing further was done to treat and/or evaluate it.
Unfortunately, about three weeks later, our client suffered a stroke. He was admitted to a private hospital for nearly a month, where he underwent significant treatment, before being discharged to an acute rehab facility due to his functional capabilities being below baseline.
$400,000 Settlement for Veteran’s Widow in North Carolina
The VA had just taken CT scans and chest x-rays, which clearly showed the pulmonary emboli. But the VA missed them and never intervened to fix the problem. Our client’s husband died suddenly at home a couple of weeks later.
The veteran’s widow hired us and we filed a federal tort claim against the VA. To the VA hospital’s credit, they admitted that they had missed the pulmonary emboli visible on the veteran’s chest imaging. In relatively short order, we were able to obtain a $400,000 settlement for this veteran’s widow.
$300,000: Doctor Admits Degrading Behavior Towards Female
A female veteran in Washington is subjected to a humiliating examination by a VA doctor. When we made our claim to the VA it denied it outright. In litigation, the doctor ended up admitting his degrading behavior and the VA paid our client $300,000.
$200,000: Psychiatrist Engages in Inappropriate Relationship with Veteran
After returning home from active duty, a young veteran sought help for his psychological symptoms. The veteran reported to a VA in Virginia, where he was treated by a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist made inappropriate advances toward the veteran, and engaged in a relationship with the veteran outside of the appropriate physician/patient realm. The veteran stopped seeing the psychiatrist completely, disengaging from the damaging relationship after several months. We were able to negotiate a settlement of $200,000 in the administrative phase for this brave veteran.
$720,000: Doctors Ignored Signs of Spinal Cord Compression
A Vietnam combat veteran in Oregon complained of increasing neck paid and movement issues. The VA neurologists ignored the plain signs of spinal cord compression causing him to have permanent impairments. The VA paid $720,000 for this delayed diagnosis and treatment.
$220,000: Doctors Discontinue Veteran’s Bi-Yearly Liver Ultrasounds
A veteran in Oregon had been followed by providers at the VA to monitor his cirrhosis of the liver and Hepatitis C. After years of appropriate monitoring, his providers elected to discontinue his bi-yearly liver ultrasounds. This veteran was diagnosed with liver cancer, and because of the lack of ultrasounds, a large tumor developed without the VA’s knowledge. The VA was willing to settle this one for $220,000 with little resistance.
$600,000: Misread Specimen in Colon Cancer Surgery
A pathologist at the VA hospital in Los Angeles misread a pathology specimen from a veteran’s colon cancer surgery. He said the margin was clear when, in fact, there was cancer. Because his cancer was then untreated, this 68 year old veteran died prematurely. Without taking a single deposition, the VA paid $600,000 to settle this case.
"I approached the Rawls Law Group after my son’s death by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related suicide. Terry died while he was under the direct care of the VA Health Administration for severe PTSD symptoms and suicidal ideations. Rawls Law Group was the third law firm I approached with my son’s medical records and my belief that the VA did not follow their own process or that the medical personnel took the steps necessary to ensure that a veteran, known as a high-risk patient, was kept safe. The first two law offices not only declined to take my case but told me that I was wasting my time pursuing the VA system. Both cited neglect in suicide cases are hard to establish and truthfully treated me like an over reactive mother. The Rawls Law Group not only took on my case, knowing that “neglect in suicides cases is hard to establish” but they were kind and respectful throughout the entire process. My questions or concerns were always answered in a timely manner with professional and exact responses. Brewster and his amazing team was able to prove the VA was neglectful in the mental health care of my son, and we won our case. My family and I are forever grateful."