Another lawsuit filed in death of WWII veteran at Clarksburg VAMC

West Virginia

CLARKSBURG, WV, (WBOY) – Another lawsuit has been filed against the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Clarksburg regarding the death of a patient.

The law firm of Tiano O’Dell says they’ve filed the suit on behalf of Russell Posey, II and Kristina Hinzman, the son and daughter of 92-year-old Ret. Chief Petty Officer Russell R. Posey, Sr., a World War II veteran.

On June 15, 2018, Posey was admitted to the VAMC’s ICU for pneumonia. Two days later, after improving, he was moved to floor 3A. Despite not being diabetic or having insulin prescribed to him, Posey suffered a hypoglycemic event around 5:30 a.m. on June 18, with a blood glucose level of 14 mg/dl, the lawsuit says.

Russell Posey, Sr.

Posey’s last recorded interaction with a health care worker was with Reta Mays at 4:00 a.m., according to the suit. Mays wrote that she offered him breakfast and a bath, which he declined because he was sleeping, it says. The lawsuit points out that “it is highly irregular to offer a patient breakfast and a bath at 4:00 a.m. when no order has been placed for the patient to eat at that time for a specific reason.”

In July 2020, Mays pleaded guilty in the deaths of seven VAMC patients, including Posey, who was listed only by his initials.

After Posey’s hypoglycemic event, doctors did not order tests to determine the cause and failed to “communicate the unexpected nature of the events surrounding Mr. Posey’s change in medical status,” the lawsuit alleges. Posey was placed on hospice care and died on July 3, 2018.

Posey’s body was disinterred and autopsied twice as part of the investigation, due to “incomplete testing, sampling and examination methods,” the suit says.

Posey was first identified as a victim in November 2019. Lawyers filed an administrative claim with the Department of Affairs in December 2019, but six months later have not gotten a response, lawyers said.

You can read the full lawsuit here.

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