IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
THE ESTATE OF MICHAEL KEATING : CIVIL ACTION
BY MARIE KEATING, et al :
COATESVILLE VA MEDICAL CENTER, et al : NO. 10-2672
Savage, J. November 2, 2010
In this wrongful death and survival action alleging medical malpractice under the
Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), the defendant United States of America1 has moved to dismiss claims for wrongful death and loss of consortium. Relying on a strict interpretationof the FTCA notice requirement,2 it contends that the Standard Form 95 submitted to the Department of Veteran Affairs (“VA”) presented only a survival claim. It argues the wrongful death and consortium claims must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
We conclude that the VA had notice of both the wrongful death and survival actions. Because a loss of consortium claim cannot be asserted in addition to the wrongful death claim, it must be dismissed. Therefore, we shall grant the motion to the extent it seeks dismissal of the consortium claim, and deny it as to the wrongful death claim.
Michael Keating was admitted to the Veterans Administration Medical Center in
Coatesville, Pennsylvania for treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. During his inpatient stay, he became unresponsive and never regained consciousness. He was transferred to Brandywine Hospital where he died on December 1, 2008, after spending months in a coma.
In February 2009, Marie Keating, Michael’s wife, filed a Standard Form 95 notifying
the VA of Michael’s death and her intent to hold the VA liable. The VA did not act on the claim within six months. As the duly appointed executrix of her husband’s estate, Marie Keating instituted this wrongful death and survival action alleging that Michael’s death was caused by the VA doctors’ medical malpractice.