Third family comes forward in VA Hospital death investigation

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — There is more troubling information concerning deaths at the VA Medical Center in Clarksburg. A third family has come forward saying their loved one died under suspicious circumstances. 87-year-old Navy Veteran John Hallman died in June of 2018. An attorney representing surviving relatives is outraged.

“They put their lives at risk for us. They served their country. And they deserve the very best and they didn’t get it. And it’s hard to imagine the disappointment and the betrayal that these families feel,” said Tony O’Dell, an attorney representing five families who had a loved one die at the VA.

While Hallman’s death has yet to be ruled a homicide, it does fit the known pattern in several other deaths. He died on floor 3-A of the hospital. He was given insulin injections, even though he did not need them. And his condition was either stable or actually improving. We know that Army Sergeant Felix McDermott met a similar fate, as did Air Force Veteran George Shaw. The attorney says the VA has not been helpful.

“I do think it’s a coverup. I think the VA itself had an obligation to contact these families when there was an issue of a suspicious death with their family member. And they didn’t contact any of them, and to this day they still haven’t contacted a single one,” said attorney Tony O’Dell.

The attorney is now representing five families but anticipates more will retain his services.

The Inspector-General of the Veterans Administration continues to investigate these suspicious deaths, but big questions remain. When will that report be completed, and made public?

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