Federal Judge To Vets Sick From Chemical Weapons Testing: Get In Line

Federal Judge To Vets Sick From Chemical Weapons Testing: Get In Line.


Thousands of U.S. military veterans exposed to chemical weapons such as mustard gas and lewisite as part of the military’s secret weapons testing programs may be entitled to updated information from the government about the health hazards they may face, but a federal judge ruled on Wednesday that veterans won’t be able to receive government-funded health care from providers outside the Department of Veterans Affairs system.

In Oakland, Calif., Chief U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled this week that although the VA is struggling to keep up with all of the physical and mental issues facing veterans today, the government is immune from lawsuits that would require it to pay private medical bills.

The veterans “have not shown that the care is inadequate or that they are unable to address any inadequacies through the (VA) system,” Wilken said.

Eugene Illovsky is a lawyer for the plaintiffs, which included Vietnam Veterans of America, Swords to Plowshares, other organizations and individual veterans. He said, “The VA system is a rationed system,” and that “we’re going to try to keep fighting on the issue as best we can.”

It is not yet known whether the groups will appeal Wilken’s ruling.

The U.S. first began testing the potential health effects of chemical weapons on soldiers during World War I. The program expanded during World War II to include more than 60,000 veterans. However, the Defense Department and VA have long refused to share the findings.

During the Cold War, the testing expanded to include psychiatric drugs such as LSD, in addition to chemical and biological substances. The Pentagon says it stopped testing chemical weapons on live subjects in 1975 and that all participants consented to the program, but government officials have acknowledged in recent years that they did not provide full information to the subjects about the chemicals or their possible effects.

Illovsky applauded Wilken’s ruling that “the Army has an ongoing duty … to provide test subjects with newly acquired information that may affect their well-being.”

Exposure to many “contaminants of concern” can cause serious medical conditions such as cancer and may result in death.

In a post for Veterans Today from 2010, veteran Robert O’Dowd, who served in the 1st, 3rd and 4th Marine Aircraft wings during the 1960s and slept in a radium-226-contaminated workspace, wrote that many veterans wanted information about contaminants because they want to “connect the dots of serious illness” and share the findings with their medical care provider.

Dowd also took issue with the military’s claims that the veterans voluntarily participated in the chemical programs.

“No one in their right mind would voluntarily live and work on a Superfund site,” he wrote. “For the most part, veterans are not provided the choice of military assignments.”

VA sued for malpractice in USDC for NMI US vet files $5M lawsuit for asbestos-related lung disease

Saipan Tribune..

A U.S. veteran based in Thailand has filed a $5-million lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Navy for his lung disease that he allegedly incurred after being exposed to asbestos fibers when he served in a U.S. Navy vessel in 1972 and 1973.

Johannes Weber is suing the U.S. Navy for negligence because he was allegedly under orders from his then military superiors to perform work in the engineering spaces of a U.S. Navy vessel where he was exposed to asbestos without proper safety equipment.

In a complaint he filed without a lawyer on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the NMI, Weber asked the court to require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to pay him for his medical cost associated with treatment of a service connected disability.

He asked the court to award damages to his common-law wife, Khawannuedee Boonjan, who is in Thailand, should he die before the court can rule on the lawsuit.

Weber said his lung disease caused him to be 100 percent disabled. He said he was discharged under honorable conditions and was represented by the Disabled American Veterans and granted a non-service connected pension on July 31, 2003.

He said the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs discontinued his pension after falsely accusing him of owing the Veteran Affairs over $37,000 in overpayments.

Weber said he needs regular aid and can no longer travel on commercial airlines because of the pressure it exerts on his lungs.

He alleged that the Department of Veterans Affairs is not paying for his medical costs in Thailand for his service connected injury.

Weber said he filed an application for compensation with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, but never received a response.

It was not clear yet why Weber filed his lawsuit on Saipan

VA hospital workers sold heroin and crack cocaine to vets, feds charge | NJ.com

Christopher Shalaby a veteran who worked for the VA Ambassador Program age 31 of Somerville who is charged with heroin distribution leaves Federal Courthouse with his parents in Newark,  More about this and medical malpractice at the va on VAmalpractice.infoVA hospital workers sold heroin and crack cocaine to vets, feds charge | NJ.com.

In a case that grew out of a fatal drug overdose at the VA Medical Center at Lyons two years ago, federal authorities today arrested seven men — including five hospital employees — on charges of selling heroin and crack cocaine to veterans in various treatment programs.

Those arrested, all veterans themselves, were charged with various counts of possession and distribution, including the sale of heroin, crack and hydromorphone, a narcotic for pain.

Many had records of serious substance abuse problems and all but two were held without bail after a brief preliminary hearing this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark.

Federal authorities said the men sold drugs to patients of the VA hospitals at both East Orange and Lyons in Bernards Township. Some worked in housekeeping and food services. One was a “VA ambassador” who greeted patients and their families. Two others were patients at the two facilities, undergoing treatment for drug abuse.

“These seven men abused their access to VA medical facilities to peddle dangerous drugs to other veterans undergoing treatment,” said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman

A spokeswoman for the VA hospitals would not comment on the arrests, or say whether any of those employed by Veterans Affairs faced disciplinary action or job termination.

“We are committed to providing world-class health care to our veterans, which they have earned through their service,” said Sandra Warren in a statement. “The safety and welfare of veterans in our care is of primary importance, and the VA New Jersey Health Care System is cooperating fully with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, VA Office of Inspector General, and the FBI in this investigation.”

Jeffrey Hughes of the U.S. Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, said the criminal investigation was launched following a fatal heroin overdose of an unidentified veteran at the VA medical center in Lyons two years ago.

“The FBI and the VA OIG jointly launched an operation which focused on combatting the sale of heroin and crack cocaine to patients at Lyons,” he said.

Five of the men were arrested this morning by the FBI at the Lyons facility. One was arrested at the VA hospital in East Orange. And one was arrested at his home.

According to a series of complaints filed in federal court in Newark, all of those charged had “privileged access” to the buildings and grounds of the medical centers and sold drugs to veterans receiving services from the centers.

Among those charged was Yusuf Muhammad, 59, of North Plainfield, employed as a supervisor and housekeeper at the VA’s Lyons Medical Center in Bernards Township. Also arrested was Christopher Shalaby, 31, of Somerville, a patient ambassador whose job was to greet veterans and family members at Lyons.

Thomas Pearson, 66, of Dover and Abdul Kareem Muhammad, 50, of Bound Brook, both on the housekeeping staff at Lyons were also charged in separate complaints, as was John Stucky, 49, of Newark, a food service worker at East Orange.

Two men in VA treatment programs, Phillip Johnson, 52, of Basking Ridge, and Robin Merritt, 55, of Hackensack, also face charges.

In court, the men, most in T-shirts, and several hobbled by a variety of medical conditions, had little to say. According the prosecutors, nearly all had prior drug arrests. Only two, Shalaby and Pearson, were released on bail.

The VA medical centers in East Orange and Lyons said last year it treated 58,915 military veterans, providing medical and rehabilitation treatment — including drug abuse and additional rehabilitation services, vocational training and other social services.

The VA New Jersey Health Care System also has 10 community-based outpatient clinics located throughout the state.

If convicted, each of those charged faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.


Former Navy Nurse Claims She Was Punished For Blowing The Whistle On VA Hospital « CBS Denver

Former Navy Nurse McNamara (center) claims that she was punished when she complained that VA nursses were ignoring patients and playing solitare at the Denver VA.

Vet Claims She Was Punished For Blowing The Whistle On VA Hospital

DENVER (CBS4) – A former nurse who claims she saw patients being mistreated at the Denver VA hospital is filing a federal whistleblower lawsuit claiming she was punished for exposing problems.

Diane McNamara, a 24 year Navy veteran, is a former overnight nurse at the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center at 9th Avenue and Clermont Street. She has filed a suit, citing serious problems with the nursing care and retaliation against her when she voiced her concerns

“I saw nurses reading magazines and playing solitaire rather than taking care of sick patients,” she told CBS4. “And that doesn’t sit well with me.”

She said she saw patients “out in the waiting room unattended for three and four hours where their oxygen tanks had run dry and nobody even noticed.”

In 2008 McNamara worked the weekend shift at the hospital. She has pages of documents showing what she calls “basic Nursing 101 incompetance” problems with the care for the veterans.

She took her concerns to supervisors for more than a year with no response.

“Instead of dealing with that and enabling the nurses to raise their level of care, I just became the bad guy,” she said.

During that time McNamara says she was passed over for promotions and was the subject of malicious gossip.

“I had been retaliated in numerous ways many, many times for whistleblower activity,” she said.

In 2011 McNamara eventually left for a new job, and contacted Washington DC with her complaints.

On Tuesday a federal judge will hear her case before the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Diane says taking on the government is the last thing she wants to do, but she says justice for veterans is worth it.

“It’s kind of a David and Goliath sort of thing,” she said.

When reached to discuss this story, officials with the Department of Veterans Affairs told CBS4 they don’t comment on personnel issues.

via Vet Claims She Was Punished For Blowing The Whistle On VA Hospital « CBS Denver.

Casey Calls On CDC To Review All Local Legionnaires’ Cases « CBS Pittsburgh

Senataor Casey calls for investigation into Pittsburgh VA


Casey Calls On CDC To Review All Local Legionnaires’ Cases « CBS Pittsburgh.


Casey and others suspect that some cases and deaths may have been mis-classified — that is, attributed by CDC as community-acquired legionella instead of VA hospital-acquired legionella.

“If it was community-acquired, then the VA would claim that they should not bear any responsibility for that,” said Dr. Victor Yu of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Yu, whose whistle-blowing in this case exposed the VA problem, said the CDC used calculations that minimized VA responsibility.

“Those patients in that grey area were shifted into community-acquired,” he said.

Yu says he’s not surprised by these new developments.

“Most of us had surmised that the cases the VA was admitting to still were the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “So the fact that there was a sixth case wasn’t surprising.”

So could this possible sixth death from legionella at the VA hospital be the last? Casey is skeptical.

“I have some real questions and question marks about whether it is sixth and that it is the last one,” said Casey

VA’s blind spot: Intolerable


Micheal Moreland VISN 4 Director doesn't need to worry about getting Legionnaires' disease from the Pittsburgh VA, because his office is off campus at the luxurious Del Monte center! More on VAmalpractice.info

This is NOT from the Pittsburgh Tribune

VA’s blind spot: Intolerable | TribLIVE.

Backing the regional director who oversaw the Pittsburgh VA Health System while five veterans died as a result of its Legionnaires’ disease outbreak from February 2011 to November 2012 — and even more outrageously backing the nearly $80,000 in bonuses that Michael Moreland collected during that period — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki defends the indefensible.

In a letter last week to U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, Mr. Shinseki mind-bogglingly called Mr. Moreland “an outstanding professional who continuously demonstrates strength, commitment, integrity and a relentless commitment to public service.” He even defended Moreland’s infectious disease policies being among reasons for awarding his bonuses — including one White House-approved and worth $63,000 in October 2012, a month before word of the Legionnaires’ outbreak reached national VA leaders.

Bereaved loved ones of the veterans lost to Legionnaires’ are understandably upset. It’s hard to believe that Moreland, his top VA Pittsburgh Health System subordinates (some of whom got unjustifiable bonuses, too) and even Shinseki still have their jobs, much less bonuses or authority to award them.

If this is how the VA treats top officials linked with fatal consequences for its patients, what sort of staff failure might it actually punish ?

Without a top-to-bottom housecleaning, it’s all too likely that the VA again will betray its sacred duty to all who’ve worn America’s uniform, just as it betrayed those five dead veterans.

Read more: http://triblive.com/opinion/featuredcommentary/4440842-74/bonuses-moreland-veterans#ixzz2ackRIiis 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Another death linked to Legionnaires’ disease at Pittsburgh VA – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Another death linked to Legionnaires’ disease at Pittsburgh VA

Whether veteran contracted disease at hospital

The death of a Delmont man in November 2011, after contracting Legionnaires’ disease that was initially dismissed by the federal Centers of Disease Control and Prevention as not being part of the Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs outbreak, may have begun there after all, according to interviews and documents obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Most significantly, a spokesman at Forbes Regional Hospital said in a statement that the hospital is convinced that Frank “Sonny” Calcagno, 85, a Navy veteran who died Nov. 23, 2011, at Forbes, did not contract Legionnaires’ there, as the CDC and the Pittsburgh VA believed.

“When looking at the full picture surrounding the case over time, however, including Forbes water test results and the lack of any other legionella cases, it is clear that this patient was not exposed to legionella at Forbes,” spokesman Dan Laurent wrote in an email.

The only other place Calcagno stayed in the weeks before he was diagnosed with the disease at Forbes was at the Pittsburgh VA.

If that is the case, that would make Calcagno the sixth veteran to die shortly after contracting the disease during the VA outbreak in 2011 and 2012. After a 2-month-long investigation, the CDC in February determined that 22 men were sickened and five of them died during the outbreak at the Pittsburgh VA.


But it found that another 11 veterans — including Calcagno — who had been patients at the Pittsburgh VA and had Legionnaires’ at some point, contracted the waterborne disease outside of the Pittsburgh VA.

The Pittsburgh VA’s chief of staff, Ali Sonel, said the VA relied on the CDC’s investigation — which also involved staff from the Allegheny County Health Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Health — in determining where all of the identified patients contracted Legionnaires’. He referred questions on that issue to the CDC.

A CDC spokeswoman, Alison Patti, said officials at the CDC were too busy with other projects to comment this week.

Calcagno’s daughter, Debbie Balawejder, 58, of Monroeville, wasn’t surprised to hear others say now that her dad contracted Legionnaires’ at the Pittsburgh VA.


A CDC spokeswoman, Alison Patti, said officials at the CDC were too busy with other projects to comment this week.

Calcagno’s daughter, Debbie Balawejder, 58, of Monroeville, wasn’t surprised to hear others say now that her dad contracted Legionnaires’ at the Pittsburgh VA.

She recalled that last November, after the Pittsburgh VA publicly revealed that it was dealing with an outbreak, “I was watching the news and when I heard about these people at the Pittsburgh VA dying from it, I turned to my husband and said, ‘I know that’s where he got it.’ “

Calcagno’s longtime girlfriend, Becky Krezan, 75, who lived with him for the past 30 years, said no one at Forbes ever bothered to say where they thought Calcagno was infected.

Calcagno’s case appears to have been inadvertently dismissed as not being part of Pittsburgh VA outbreak because of a simple mistaken date.

During a review of Calcagno’s case, the CDC investigators determined that the date of “onset” — that is, when he first began showing symptoms of Legionnaires’ — was on Nov. 5, 2011, according to the case review documents obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from the VA through a Freedom of Information Act request.

To determine the earliest possible date that a patient might have first contracted the disease, the CDC typically counts backward from the onset date by a full 10 days. But for this investigation, the CDC used a wider response time of 14 days.

Counting back from Nov. 5 put the earliest possible date of infection on Oct. 22 — the second full day that Calcagno was a patient at Forbes.

But in another portion of the case review, the CDC investigator wrote that he was “admitted to Forbes Regional 10/21/2011 and + on 11/5/2011.” That positive sign refers to Calcagno testing positive for Legionnaires’ on that date.


t would be unusual for a patient to show the first onset of symptoms, be diagnosed, tested and have a test result come back the same day.

The CDC’s own list of the 32 possible Pittsburgh VA Legionnaires’ cases shows that the time between onset and diagnosis — which is typically the day a test result is returned — can be as much as 10 days.

Forbes would not provide a date that they believe Calcagno first began showing symptoms.

His family says he began having a cough in the last days at the Pittsburgh VA, and it worsened after he got to Forbes on Oct. 20. (The Pittsburgh VA says he was admitted to Forbes on Oct. 21 but the family says he was admitted on Oct. 20, the same day he left the Pittsburgh VA because he had been having health problems. He had been at the VA since Aug. 28 — during the beginning of the worst parts of the outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease.)

Sometime at about the end of his first week at Forbes, Mrs. Balawejder said she noticed her father’s cough getting worse and that he had developed a fever, and she asked the doctors and nurses about it and was told: “Oh, that’s just from his pneumonia.”

Legionnaires’ is a potentially lethal form of pneumonia that is caused by the bacterium Legionella. It is transmitted by water, typically when a patient inhales the infected water into their lungs while showering or bathing.

For younger, healthier people who contract it, Legionnaires’ typically is not fatal. But for older, immune compromised patients like Calcagno, the CDC estimates that the percentage who die after contracting it can be as high as 30 percent — which is about the percentage of Pittsburgh VA patients who died after contracting it there in 2011 and 2012.

Experts say, however, that if the correct antibiotics are given to patients soon after infection, the disease can be cured, even in immune-compromised patients.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/another-death-linked-to-legionnaires-at-pittsburgh-va-697320/#ixzz2aWtfBTLO

via Another death linked to Legionnaires’ disease at Pittsburgh VA – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Maybe this why it takes so long to get an appointment at the VA -Roseburg VA counselor sits idle for 1 year while VA investigates relationship with patient

Roseburg VA counselor upset by investigation | kgw.com Portland.

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — A Veterans Affairs counselor in Roseburg has been idle for close to a year as officials investigate whether she had an intimate relationship with a veteran who attended support groups for those with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jamie Carlson says the situation has become intolerable, and the president of the union that represents Carlson says the case is based on rumors and firing the counselor would be a mistake.

A Roseburg VA spokeswoman told the Roseburg News-Review (http://is.gd/TTZn4n) she can’t comment on personnel matters.

Several veterans and their relatives told the newspaper they want Carlson to return.

Judge finds that the a 58 year old Worcester, MA veteran may have lived if he had gone to a good hospital, but that is not the standard that the Roxbury, MA VA is judged by, and finds against veterans family in medical malpractice case.

Boston Heath Care web

Jackson v. United States,

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts,   

Civil Action No. 08-40024-FDS

This is an action under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2671-2680. It is, in substance, an action for wrongful death resulting from medical malpractice. Plaintiff Cynthia Jackson is the administratrix of the estate of Leonard Giguere, her father. She alleges that negligent post-operative medical care provided at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs facility in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, caused Mr. Giguere’s death.

The case was tried to the Court without a jury. For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds in favor of the United States.


Leonard Giguere was a 58-year-old  [2] resident of Worcester, Massachusetts, and a Vietnam veteran. He came to the West Roxbury VA on May 4, 2005, complaining of chest tightness. At the hospital, physicians concluded that he had suffered a myocardial infarction—in common language, a heart attack. They also discovered that Mr. Giguere had a highly unusual anatomy: due to a past trauma, his diaphragm had herniated, and his stomach and part of his colon had migrated into his chest cavity. As a result, his esophagus had a u-turn in it, rather than a straight passage down to his stomach.

His cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Michael Crittenden, concluded that Mr. Giguere required coronary bypass surgery. That surgery took place on May 6. It proceeded normally, and Mr. Giguere was sent to the surgical intensive care unit to recover.

A common result of major surgery is an ileus: a blockage of the gastrointestinal tract so that food, liquids, or gas cannot pass. Mr. Giguere developed an ileus at some point after the surgery. Because gas and other material from his upper digestive tract could not pass through his system, his stomach became distended. For persons with a normal anatomy, a distended stomach normally produces a swollen and  tender abdomen. When Mr. Giguere’s stomach distended, however, it pressed against his left lung and heart, causing pulmonary and cardiac stress.

A nasogastric (“NG”) tube inserted through the esophagus into the stomach would have provided a possible means of suctioning gas or fluid and relieving the pressure, although it would not have resolved the ileus. Dr. Crittenden attempted after the surgery to insert an NG tube, but was not successful in inserting the tube past the u-turn in the esophagus. Because an ileus normally resolves on its own, and because continued efforts to insert the tube posed a risk of perforation of the esophagus, Dr. Crittenden adopted what was in essence a wait-and-see approach, and did not make further efforts to insert a tube over the next two or three days.

The ileus, however, did not resolve, and Mr. Giguere’s condition worsened. After a consultation, Dr. Elihu Schimmel, a gastroenterologist, recommended fluoroscopic insertion of an NG tube (that is, with the assistance of x-ray imaging). On May 10, Dr. Stephen Gerzof, a radiologist, attempted to perform the procedure. During the procedure, Mr. Giguere vomited; he aspirated the vomited material; and in the process he suffered another, and fatal, heart attack.

Dr. Andrew Warner, plaintiff’s expert, is the Chairman of the Department of Gastroenterology at the Lahey Clinic and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Tufts School of Medicine and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Warner testified that Dr. Crittenden should have consulted with a gastroenterologist earlier in the post-operative period, and that the physicians should have attempted the insertion of an NG tube, by endoscopic means if necessary, at the first indication of a possible ileus. He also testified that as soon as symptoms of an ileus developed, Mr. Giguere should not have been given food or water and should have been taken off narcotic painkillers. He concluded that Mr. Giguere died because his untreated ileus caused his stomach to distend, compressing his heart and lungs, and that  [5] the resulting stress, coupled with the May 10 attempt to insert the tube, led directly to his fatal heart attack.

Dr. James Richter, defendants’ expert, is a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is the Director of Gastroenterology Quality Management, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Richter testified that a post-operative ileus almost always resolves in a few days, and that because of Mr. Giguere’s fragile state, further attempts to insert a tube were to be avoided if possible. He testified that the normal course of treatment was to give the patient a little bit to eat if he could tolerate it, and try to get him out of bed and moving around to try to resolve the ileus. He further testified that when the ileus did not resolve, the options (including intubation) were difficult and dangerous given Mr. Giguere’s anatomy and medical condition. He concluded that the course of action taken by the physicians was appropriate under the circumstances, and in accordance with the relevant standard of care.

This case not only involves a tragic death, but a difficult set of issues. With the benefit of hindsight, it seems likely that a different  [6] course of treatment might have led to a different outcome. But hindsight, of course, is not the standard by which the physicians’ decisions should be judged. Even without that hindsight view, Mr. Giguere may have received less-than-perfect care. But that, too, is not the standard. Rather, the issue whether Mr. Giguere’s physicians deviated from the standard of care—that is, the “care and skill of the average member of the profession practicing the specialty, taking into account the advances in the profession.” Brune v. Belinkoff, 354 Mass. 102, 109, 235 N.E.2d 793 (1968)This standard “does not require physicians to provide the best care possible,” but instead effectively sets a minimum level of care. Palandjian v. Foster, 446 Mass. 100, 105, 842 N.E.2d 916 (2006).

The Court concludes, in substance, that the conservative approach adopted by the VA physicians did not breach the standard of care. The approach taken by the physicians was within the range of accepted medical practice. Dr. Warner’s viewpoint, while generally credible, in effect represents how a physician with a relatively high degree of skill and foresight would have approached the issue. In the ultimate analysis, Dr. Warner’s approach was likely “right,”  [7] in the sense it was more likely that the patient would have survived had his suggested course of conduct been followed. But, as noted, that is not the precise issue to be decided; it is whether the conduct of the physicians fell below the standard of care. The Court cannot conclude, on the record before it, that they deviated below that standard. Judgment will therefore enter for the United States.

San Antonio VA Hospital Employees Concerned Over Crossing Street in Front of VA | WOAI: San Antonio News

spital Employees Concerns | WOAI: San Antonio News.



(San Antonio)-Employees at the Audie Murphy VA Hospital are expressing concern for their own safety. After being told not to talk to news reporters by hospital administrators, some employees felt the need to discuss

concern for their safety. “It’s pretty dangerous coming across here. There are a lot of people that go across without the crosswalk but we kinda take our chances,” said employee Steve Christiansen. Near by worker

Thomas Guerra said, “I’ve seen a lot of them almost get hit. One lady dropped her purse and everything fell out and the car had to stop and let her pick up her things off the street.”The employees are hoping the VA Hospital works to build a sky bridge, install flashing caution lights, and a heavier police presence.The concerns follow the death of VA Hospital Dr. Patrick Lindner, 33, of San Antonio who was killed by an out of control truck. Lindner was on his way to work when he was hit on Wurzbach Road and later died.

A VA Hospital spokeswoman said, “We’re working with all agencies involved. This is not just our issue.”