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Bill Would Allow Veterans to Sue VA Employees

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) has introduced legislation that would allow veterans to sue VA employees who falsified or destroyed health records and would also make it easier for the VA to fire employees for falsifying or destroying records.

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) has introduced legislation that would allow veterans to sue VA employees who falsified or destroyed health records. The legislation would also allow for firing VA employees who engaged in such activities.

“The men and women who served in uniform should be first in line for the best quality medical care in the world,” said Senator Toomey. “That’s why I introduced legislation to allow veterans to hold VA employees accountable if they falsify or destroy information relating to a veteran’s health care.”

The legislation (S. 2419) would do the following:

A veteran suing in court should be entitled to receive copies of all emails, memos, voicemails, or other materials that shed light on

  • how VA employees endangered veterans’ health through secret wait lists,
  • how employees hid their wrongdoing by falsifying and destroying documents, and
  • which VA officials knew of these actions.

A veteran-or a veteran’s next of kin-could collect damages to compensate him or her for any harm caused by delayed treatment. Additionally, the federal employee pays any damages out of his or her own pocket.

If a court finds that a VA employee falsified or destroyed VA health records, the VA Secretary may immediately fire that employee without the months of appeals and hearings that are mandated by civil service laws.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.