Veteran's widow files lawsuit in response to VA Legionella outbreak

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The estate of a Marine Corps veteran from Jeannette who died after Legionella bacteria may have complicated his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease sued the federal government today, claiming that neglect at the Veterans Affairs' hospital in Oakland was to blame.

John Allen McGarry, 65, a Vietnam veteran, died Sept. 29 died from COPD, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court. But that followed a year during which the lung condition was exacerbated by Legionella, according to the complaint.

By failing to promptly address the Legionella in the hospital's water system, the government became liable for his wrongful death, his widow, Betty Jo McGarry, contends.

The lawsuit is the latest of many spurred by the hospital's Legionella outbreak. A spokesman for the Veterans Administration could not be immediately reached for comment.

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.


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