Vets Mistakenly Told They Have Fatal Disease


Around 1,200 vets were mailed letters from the VA telling them they had ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Over 1,800 letters were sent out. They explained what disability benefits were available for those who have ALS, a progressive disease that attacks nerve cells that are responsible for controlling voluntary muscles.

Only a small percentage of the vets called to say they received the letters by mistake. Others are known to have put themselves through a battery of expensive, and sometimes painful, tests. Add to this the fear these vets felt, and the trifecta of financial, emotional, and physical pain becomes pronounced. Had the mistake, attributed to a coding error at the VA, not been caught soon enough, some of these vets who already live a fragile existence may have been pushed over the edge.

Medical malpractice sometimes deals with a misdiagnosis of a disease or illness that was not there to begin with. The mental torture felt by these vets, many of whom may be suffering from PTSD, is unfathomable.

Being able to educate their selves about the horror of Lou Gehrig’s disease at their fingertips, these men and women had to wonder at the nature of receiving a death sentence like this. Sure, they were relieved to find out it was all just one big screw up, but when the anger sets in, they may be reaching for the phone to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Who can blame them when they do?