VA Medical Malpractice

Firm Helps Veteran Obtain $5.7 Million Medical Malpractice Award

Earlier this year, Rossiter & Boock Attorney Zach Pancoast helped a Navy Veteran secure a $5.7 million medical malpractice claim against the Department of Veterans of Affairs for its failure to timely diagnose his prostate cancer.   Rossiter & Boock Partner Jamie Boock assisted Mr. Pancoast at trial.

The United States Court for the Eastern District of Missouri awarded a judgment of $4,062,652 to Coyvell (CJ) Jackson for his Federal Tort Claims Act claim and $1,649,750 to his wife, Brenda Jackson, for her claim of loss of consortium.

Mr. Jackson received routine medical care at two VA medical facilities in Poplar Bluff and Cape Girardeau. Between 2009 and 2015, Mr. Jackson received seven prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screens.  Per VA guidelines, a screen over 4 is considered high.  During this time, the VA system flagged several of his test results as ‘high’, but doctors prescribed antibiotics and retesting instead of directing him to have an immediate biopsy.  In April 2016, Mr. Jackson was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Through expert physician testimony, Attorney Pancoast was able to show the VA had breached the standard of care when it failed to rule out prostate cancer by performing a biopsy after finding Mr. Jackson’s PSA rose to 8.75 in July 2014.  Further, the expert testified if the biopsy had been performed in May 2015, he would have required only a prostatectomy.  Delaying the diagnosis until April 2016, caused Mr. Jackson to require additional treatment, including salvage radiation and hormone ablation therapy, which caused incontinence, complete erectile dysfunction and a reduced life expectancy.

The parties did not dispute Jackson’s economic damages, but the federal government disputed whether Missouri’s statutory caps on noneconomic damages – enacted after 2015 – applied in this case.  Judge Abbie Crites-Leoni sided with the plaintiffs, finding their claims accrued in May 2015 before the caps of noneconomic damages.

Additional Resources

VA Claims Under the Federal Tort Claim Act

What does the term ‘Standard of Care’ mean?


About Attorney Zach Pancoast

For over ten years, Rossiter & Boock Attorney Zach Pancoast has been helping victims injured by the negligence of others.  He focuses his practice primarily on motor vehicle accidents, catastrophic medical malpractice and wrongful death.  Born and raised in Shelbyville, Illinois, Zach is always eager to assist residents of St. Louis, southeastern Missouri and central Illinois with personal injury matters. He is available to meet clients in St. Louis or at the satellite office in Shelbyville, Illinois.

About Rossiter & Boock

Rossiter & Boock, LLC is a St. Louis-based law firm specializing in fiduciary litigation (trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty, related disputes and administration), business litigation and personal injury litigation (medical malpractice, product defects and automobile accidents).  With nine full time attorneys and a robust support staff, the firm has the capacity to handle even the most complex legal matters with efficiency and personal service.