October 1, 1999
A federal judge ordered the Veterans Administration Medical Center in West Haven to pay more than $3 million for failing to properly care for an injured man in December 1993.
Edward Duffy of New London was permanently disabled after being treated for an injury to his knee sustained in the Navy. After undergoing surgery at the VA hospital Duffy noticed that his leg was swollen. He told doctors about the swelling the next morning but was ignored. After he mentioned it a second time, doctors agreed that he needed immediate surgery, but did not get him into an operating room for another seven hours.
Duffy's lawyer, Atty. James Horwitz, said that because of the delay the leg continued to swell, permanently damaging nerves. If he had been treated seven hours earlier, he would be fine today, but is now disabled and in constant pain, he said.