Marine hit by car after Phoenix VA discharge sues for $15.1 million

Sep 22, 2015, 3:03 PM
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
(AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — A Marine who was hit by a car after being discharged by the Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital has filed a $15.1 million lawsuit against the facility.

The suit accuses the Carl T. Hayden Medical Center of medical negligence after Jonathan Cooper, a Marine, was left with life-threatening injuries in when he was hit by the car in 2013.

The suit said Cooper — a VA-diagnosed schizophrenic — arrived in Phoenix on Nov. 29, 2103, via bus from San Diego. His caregiver, Thumbelina Hinshaw, filed a missing person report. He was found in a neighborhood by police officers who were advised to take him to the closest VA hospital by Hinshaw.

Cooper was taken to the hospital near Seventh Street and Indian School Road, but staff allegedly discharged him shortly after despite him being disoriented, in a psychotic state and knowing he suffered from mental illness.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 30, 2013, Cooper was hit by a vehicle in front of the facility “as a result of the callous and reckless conduct of the VA medical center putting him back out on the streets when he needed them most,” Cooper’s attorney, Jason Patton, said

VA spokesperson Jean Schaefer said she cannot comment on pending litigation, but the hospital has added more staff — specifically social workers — to its emergency department since it was at the center of a nationwide scandal.

The Phoenix hospital was at the center of the wait-time scandal, which led to the ouster of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and a new, $16 billion law overhauling the labyrinthine veterans’ health care system.

An investigation by the VA’s office of inspector general found that workers at the Phoenix VA hospital falsified waiting lists, resulting in chronic delays for veterans seeking care. At least 40 patients died while awaiting appointments, the report said, but officials could not “conclusively assert” that the delays caused the deaths.

KTAR’s Martha Maurer and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Sarah Liguori was appointed to the vacant Arizona House seat for District 28 on Oct. 18, 2021. (sar...
Kevin Stone

Sarah Liguori appointed to fill Arizona House seat for District 28

Sarah Liguori was selected Monday to fill the Arizona House seat for District 28 vacated by Democrat Aaron Lieberman, who resigned last month to focus on his campaign for governor.
14 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)...
KTAR.com

US 60 closed in West Valley because of cement truck fire

U.S. 60 in the West Valley was closed temporarily Monday during the noon hour because of a cement truck fire, authorities said.
14 hours ago
Mary Ann Friesen (Photo via Arizona Department of Public Safety)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for missing Chandler woman who suffers from dementia

Authorities issued a Silver Alert on Monday for a missing Chandler woman who suffers from dementia.
14 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/ADOT)...
KTAR.com

Fiery collision on Pima Freeway Loop 101 in Scottsdale leaves 1 dead

One person died in a fiery chain-reaction collision on a Valley freeway Sunday, authorities said.
14 hours ago
One Betta, a Dutch Shepard, sniffs a mask for the scent of COVID-19 at Miami International Airport ...
KTAR.com

Arizona officials expect ‘unusually high’ COVID-19 death, case report Tuesday

The Arizona Department of Health Services didn’t add new cases or deaths to its COVID-19 dashboard Sunday or Monday because of a scheduled system update.
14 hours ago
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Jim Cross

Average Valley home prices expected to reach $517K by late 2022, experts say

Home prices in metro Phoenix are still going up and real estate experts are projecting an average of $517,000 next year.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
...
BARROW NEUROLOGICAL INSTITUTE

More stroke patients eligible for acute treatment, thanks to research

Historically, patients underwent acute stroke treatments according to strict time guidelines. But thanks to recent advancements in stroke research, more patients are becoming candidates for clot-busting drugs and endovascular therapy at specialized centers like Barrow Neurological Institute.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Marine hit by car after Phoenix VA discharge sues for $15.1 million