EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A Kentucky widow whose husband died after gallbladder surgery at a Veterans Affairs hospital in southern Illinois has settled her wrongful-death lawsuit against the VA.
An attorney for Katrina Shank says she agreed to a $975,000 settlement in the August 2007 death of 50-year-old Robert Shank. He died a day after having gallbladder surgery at the VA medical center in Marion.
Katrina Shank's lawsuit alleges the government failed to sufficiently check the background of her husband's surgeon, Dr. Jose Veizaga-Mendez, before hiring him in January 2006.
Veizaga-Mendez resigned three days after Robert Shank's death, and major surgeries were halted there. Veizaga-Mendez wasn't a defendant in the lawsuit.
The Associated Press left a message Tuesday with the national VA, seeking comment.