Malpractice Suit Against Phoenix VA Heads To Trial

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 - 5:05am
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Opening statements are scheduled for today in a civil trial accusing the Phoenix VA Health Care System of medical malpractice.

Steven Cooper, an 18-year U.S. Army veteran, has accused the VA of failing to diagnose him with prostate cancer.

Court documents allege Cooper waited for months to get an appointment at the VA. In December 2011, Cooper finally saw a nurse practitioner and received a prostate exam. When the results came back abnormal, Cooper’s lawyers wrote that the nurse practitioner did not refer Cooper for more tests or schedule an appointment with a doctor. 

Cooper’s symptoms got worse. But a year went by before a VA doctor diagnosed him with advanced prostate cancer and referred him to hospice care, according to court records.

Instead, Cooper had a private physician remove his prostate. Cooper is now terminally ill, one of his attorneys said.

The VA is represented by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which has denied the allegations.