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Settlement Reached in Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death Suit Against VA

— October 22, 2020

The U.S. government recently agreed to settle a lawsuit with the estate of Rev. Floyd Crenshaw for $1 million.

The mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs is to care for veterans, their families, and survivors. It says as much on their website. Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped many veterans from falling through the cracks, like Rev. Floyd Crenshaw, a deceased veteran and pastor. Earlier this week, the U.S. Government agreed to settle a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of Crenshaw’s estate for $1 million. The suit itself was filed against the Veterans Affairs Iliana Health Care System in Danville.

Department of Veterans' Affairs Seal
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Seal; image courtesy of United States Department of Veterans Affairs via Wikimedia Commons,

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court with Langacker Law of Urbana and Steigmann Law of Champaign/Savoy representing the estate. According to the firm, the settlement is “the largest achieved by a plaintiff against the Department of Veterans Affairs in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois since 2006.” Why was the suit filed in the first place, though? 

According to the suit, Crenshaw was a U.S. Army veteran who was honorably discharged back in 1983. From there he went on to become a pastor at Christian Center of Hope in Danville and belonged to Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. The suit argued that between 2000 and 2015, “the VA repeatedly failed to recognize and/or adequately treat Crenshaw’s increasingly worsening symptoms of cardiovascular disease.” It alleged that the “VA neglected to order an electrocardiogram for Crenshaw, a routine test that would have enabled earlier detection of his severe cardiac issues.” 

Unfortunately, when December 2015 rolled around, Crenshaw’s health had gone so far down hill that he was “continuously out of breath, coughed frequently, and had severe edema in both of his legs.” Additionally, “his diabetes was no longer being controlled by medication, and he subsequently required in-home care,” according to the suit. Finally, in December 2015, the VA ordered an electrocardiogram that revealed “Crenshaw had developed life-threatening congestive heart failure.” A few weeks later, he ended up dying from complications at the age of 55. He left behind “his widow, Raenell Crenshaw, and their eight children, including several special-needs foster children residing in the home.” 

When commenting on the suit, Langacker said:

“Mrs. Crenshaw is relieved that the case is finally over and that she has received justice…Rev. Crenshaw’s untimely passing left a wound that will never be truly healed. However, we believe that the settlement will allow the estate to care for Mr. Crenshaw’s family, who have been left to continue their lives.”


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