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Pennsylvania family files civil claim against VA

A Pennsylvania family has filed a wrongful death claim against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in connection with an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease at Pittsburgh Veterans' Affairs' facilities. Their father was the first veteran to die in the outbreak, and the family is asking for a total of $10 million with $5 million for wrongful death and $5 million for personal injury.

The suit alleges that the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare system exposed the man to the virus by way of a dangerous property condition and then failed to diagnose and treat him properly, leading to his death. According to Legionnaires' experts, the disease is lethal and fast-acting, especially for hospitalized, elderly patients. One of the most significant steps in treatment is to provide the patient with the correct antibiotics very quickly, which, a spokesman for the Pittsburgh VA facility says, is the facility's policy.

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