On the morning of August 30, 2005, Richard Kellar believed he was in the best hands as he went to the Denver Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital for a triple-bypass surgery. Kellar came out of surgery, however, with a surgical clamp about the size of a large paper clip left behind his heart. Chief. U.S. District Judge Wiley Y. Daniel is overseeing the federal trial now underway.
Kellar was offered a $100,000 settlement before trial even started. He rejected it, however, because he didn’t feel it was enough money to compensate him given both his medical and financial issues and is now seeking $15 million.
According to Kellar’s testimony, the surgeons knew the surgical clamp was missing at the end of the surgery but failed to notify him it could have been left inside his chest.
The clamp was eventually discovered during an MRI at Sky Ridge Medical Center in 2006. Kellar was told to return to the Denver VA Hospital where he underwent a fluoroscopy to inspect his chest. Examining doctors told Kellar the surgery required to remove the clamp was too risky but it should cause no harm as it was embedded in the muscle. This didn’t ring true as Kellar was experiencing various physical problems he blames on the presence of the clamp:
- Shooting pains in his head and neck; and
- Numbness in his hands.
U.S. Attorneys questioned whether these ailments existed prior to the clamp being left in his chest. This is only one of the issues the Judge must decide and the trial is expected to conclude soon.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.