The state of Missouri recently agreed to settle a lawsuit with the son of a deceases military veteran.
A lawsuit was recently settled between the son of a military veteran and the state of Missouri. The suit was originally filed by Roger Bowles of Gladstone over allegations that his late father, Donald F. Bowles, died due to the “careless and negligent medical treatment at a state-run nursing home.” According to records from the attorney general’s office, the settlement will cost “Missouri taxpayers more than $470,000.”
The suit was filed in 2018 by the Missouri Veterans Commission and claims Donald “died because of the treatment he received at the nursing home for veterans in Cameron.” What sort of treatment? According to Roger, “an aide gave medications by mouth to his father despite a doctor’s orders to not give medications in that manner.” On top of that, Roger’s father was allegedly “given another patient’s medications.” The suit further noted:
“On or about October 22, 2018, decedent Donald F. Bowles, was given oral medications intended for his roommate in violation of (doctor’s) orders.”
Donald was only in the hospital for three days before he died, according to the suit.
The settlement was approved back in August by a Clinton County judge. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the veteran’s commission “has been meeting monthly to address a funding shortfall partially caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as by underfunding from the Legislature and Gov. Mike Parson.” It is also “seeking an infusion of $5 million to help boost worker pay.” It argues the “continued operation of the homes is at risk if current funding levels are not increased.”
The staffing shortages are getting so bad that six of the state’s seven nursing homes for veterans can no longer admit new residents because they don’t have the staff.
This wasn’t the first time the commission was tangled in litigation. Earlier this year, it was on the receiving end of a lawsuit filed by the “union representing workers at the nursing facility in Warrensburg.” In that suit, Council 72 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees “is asking a judge to force the agency to address staffing woes in Warrensburg.”
The other veteran’s homes are located in Bellefontaine Neighbors, Cameron, Warrensburg, St. James, and Mount Vernon. To address ongoing staffing shortages, those homes have consolidated some units. It’s important to note, however, that while the homes have the ability to serve 1,200 veterans, the population is only about 700.
The recent lawsuit settlement with the state is only one of many. In fact, it’s estimated that the state could be on the hook for $430 million.