Paralyzed Veteran’s Lawsuit Dismissed After Missed Filing Deadline

Samuel McCullough scheduled a surgery at the James A. Haley Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Tampa, FL. Three days prior to the surgery McCullough showed up to the VA hospital suffering from severe pain in his neck and upper back. A doctor prescribed a pain killer and a muscle relaxant. The next day he returned complaining of the pain having worsened. The treating doctor took note of his fever, prescribed another pain killer, and sent him home.

The next day McCullough showed up for his hernia surgery. A few days later, McCullough was rushed to another hospital’s emergency room with a fever and paralysis of his limbs. McCullough was diagnosed with a bacterial infection that caused a spinal abscess. 10 days following the hernia surgery McCullough was a quadriplegic.

Eventually he sued the VA hospital under the claim their failure to discovery and properly diagnose the abscess lead to his paralysis. He further claimed performing the hernia operation made an already bad situation worse.

Unfortunately for McCullough, he waited over 2 years to file his lawsuit after being told his abscess caused his paralysis. Accordingly, the District Court dismissed McCullough’s lawsuit as untimely.

Judge Beverly Martin of the 11th Circuit Federal Appeals Court in Atlanta unenthusiastically agreed with the lower court’s decision. That McCullough missed his filing deadline and allowed the Statute of Limitations to run on his claim is unfortunate but the court had no ability but to affirm the lower court.

Learn more about McCullough’s lawsuit against the VA for their failure to detect a crucial abscess prior to his surgery.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.