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Beating victim's widow files wrongful death claim against feds

The widow of a man who reportedly died outside of a California Veterans Administration hospital is suing the federal government, claiming that her husband was beaten to death by police. The wrongful death claim relates to an incident that occurred in May 2011, after the man was reportedly brutalized by police working at the VA facility in Loma Linda.

Official reports show that the 65-year-old victim waited for four hours at the hospital without being seen, at which point he decided to leave that facility and go to the hospital in Long Beach. His wife went to get the car, but nursing staff at the hospital demanded that he stay; he had a shunt placed in his arm by the staff, and they did not want him to leave with the needle apparatus still in his arm. The victim wanted to take it with him so that the Long Beach physicians would not have to do the procedure all over again.

In response, nursing staff called VA police to restrain the man. They apparently tackled him, slamming his head against the floor in an effort to restrain him. The man's widow said that the brutal beating the man received damaged his carotid artery, which left him with a blood clotting problem that caused a serious stroke. The man was also emotionally harmed by the incident. He died just a couple weeks after that alleged incident.

The woman in this case is seeking compensation for wrongful death, negligence and a variety of other civil claims. Public safety officers are sworn to protect people, no matter the setting. In this case, those officers apparently harmed a man who was simply trying to receive better medical care. That agency and the VA should be held responsible for this type of negligence that occurs on federal property.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Beaten to Death in VA Hospital, Widow Says" Robert Kahn, May. 25, 2014

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