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Wrongful death claim at VA Medical Center alleges 9 or 10 other suspicious deaths

Retired sergeant Felix McDermott

PARKERSBURG -A wrongful death claim against the Veterans Administration filed by a Ritchie County woman says nine or 10 patients also died under suspicious circumstances at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg.

Melanie Proctor of Ellenboro filed a claim Aug. 20 against the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs over the April 9, 2018, death of her father, Felix K. McDermott, 82, a retired sergeant in the U.S. Army.

McDermott, a Vietnam War veteran, was admitted to the medical center on April 6, the claim said. He died three days later of extremely low blood sugar caused by an injection of insulin, willfully or negligently, that was neither ordered by a doctor nor medically required, the claim said.

No one at the medical center told his family about the sudden and unexplained hypoglycemia that caused his death or about the nine or 10 other patients at the facility who had suffered similar unexplained deaths due to sudden onset of unexplained medical conditions, the claim said.

“It was not until months later that government investigators contacted Ret. Army Sgt. McDermott’s daughter Melanie Proctor and advised her of the earlier deaths and their belief that her father’s death was not a result of natural causes,” the claim said.

McDermott was “foreseeably injected,” either negligently or willfully, with a fatal dose of insulin by an unidentified person, the claim said. The center had a responsibility to protect him and inform the family of the other mysterious deaths, the claim said.

“Upon information and belief, before April 9, 2018, nine or 10 patients of the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, W.Va., had died expectedly as a result of unexplained severe hypoglycemia, aka low blood sugar,” the claim said. “The employees of the VAMC were aware of each of the unexpected and suspicious deaths. Each of these nine or 10 patients had received a large and wrongful injection of insulin in the abdomen that was neither ordered by a doctor nor medically necessary.”

Calls to the medical center were not immediately returned. A comment from the Department of Veteran Affairs was not immediately available.

Read the story in The News and Sentinel on Saturday.

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