Day v. United States, No. 16-3118 (8th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The family of the deceased and administrator of his estate filed suit against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. 1346(b)(1), after a radiologist with the VA failed to identify a cancerous mass. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the United States, holding that although the VA failed to deliver the standard of care that the deceased deserved, the evidence presented was insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the VA's negligence proximately caused plaintiffs' damages. Because the medical malpractice claims failed, so too must the wrongful-death claims.
Court Description: Melloy, Author, with Loken and Murphy, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Federal Tort Claims Act. Where the government conceded it provided substandard care when a VA radiologist failed to identify a cancerous mass in the liver of the deceased, the district court did not err in granting the government's motion for summary judgment on the ground that plaintiff had failed to establish that the substandard care was the proximate cause of death; with respect to plaintiff's claim for pain damages, the court did not err in granting the government's motion for summary judgment as the evidence in the record was insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether any liver cancer treatment would have alleviated any of the deceased's pain; because the medical malpractice claims fail, so too must plaintiff's wrongful-death claims.