Kansas City VA Medical Center settles wrongful death suit for $500,000

Doctors gave man medication he was allergic to
Posted at 3:50 PM, Apr 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-09 18:38:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two brothers will receive compensation from the Kansas City VA Medical Center following their father's death. 

Craig and Mark Beemer filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the VA Medical Center in September 2017. 

The brothers claim a series of medication errors is what led to their father's death.

"Everyone makes mistakes, and they made a big one," Craig Beemer said. 

In 2016, John Beemer, an 84-year-old U.S. Navy Veteran, visited the hospital for a mild case of pneumonia. 

Craig Beemer said he was with his father during the visit and that hospital staff asked if his dad was allergic to any medication. 

"He said yes and he pulled out his bill fold and showed them," Craig Beemer said.

Despite the hospital's knowledge of John Beemer's allergy, Craig Beemer said a doctor administered the medication Ceftriaxone to his father anyway.

By the next day, Craig Beemer said his dad was bright red and growing increasingly ill.

"They should have noticed it right then and there," Craig Beemer said. "Instead, they gave him more."

John Beemer died after about a month in the hospital.

Craig Beemer said he didn't realize until after his dad's death that doctors had given his father the one medication he was allergic to.

The lawsuit claims doctors never read John Beemer's chart, where it also listed the allergy. 

The hospital referred all questions about the case to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District. 

Don Ledford, spokesperson for the office, said he couldn't comment on the settlement. 

Craig Beemer said the lawsuit was never about the money.

"It was about getting it out to the public," he said. "I definitely don't want this to happen to anyone else."