By Virginia Buchanan

November 30th, 2012  4:00pm

A federal judge in Florida awarded a US Air Force vet and his wife $1.25 million dollars as a result of the 70 year old veteran contracting hepatitis from unclean medical equipment used during a colonoscopy.

It is estimated that approximately 11,000 veterans were subjected to colonoscopies in which improperly cleaned equipment was utilized over a 5 year period, beginning in 2004.  The VA facilities which are believed to have used the inadequately sterilized equipment  are located in Florida, Tennessee and Georgia.

Hepatitis C is a serious infection and is the most common cause of liver transplantation.  It is a chronic condition that can persist without symptoms for a long period of time but may result in scarring, cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.

The government argued that the equipment was not the cause of the patient’s Hepatitis C, but the judge ruled that there were no other risk factors present in the patient to explain the illness.

More information on medical negligence is available here.

Virginia Buchanan is a shareholder at Levin, Papantonio.  She has served on the Board of Directions of the Florida Bar Foundation and has been Treasurer of ABOTA, Chairperson of the Civil Process Server Grievance Committeee and has been a member of the Chief Judge’s Council on Children. She currently is a member of the Women’s Caucus of the Florida Justice Association.