The family of Irvo Otieno, a U.S. Army veteran who tragically died while receiving care at a Veterans Affairs mental hospital in California, have reached a settlement with the VA. In 2017, Otieno, a 73-year-old suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder was at the hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, he passed away due to what his family believes were inadequate medical care.
Otieno’s death was a tragedy for his family and resulted in an investigation which revealed that the VA La Jolla Psychology Department had provided substandard care for their patient. A lawsuit was filed against the VA after it was discovered that Otieno had been subjected to potentially dangerous treatments. Additionally, the suit claimed that the hospital had not followed up with Otieno in a timely manner to ensure his safety and wellbeing.
The lawsuit finally reached a settlement earlier this year, with the family receiving an undisclosed amount of money and a commitment from the VA to improve safety and security procedures for patients receiving care.
Otieno’s family expressed their gratitude to the VA for taking steps to protect other patients from suffering a similar fate as their loved one. However, they also stated that no amount of money would make up for the loss of their family member. Otieno’s death was not only incredibly sad for his family, but also highlighted the importance of understanding the needs of veterans with mental illness and providing them with the best care possible.
The VA has recognized the severity of this incident and is working diligently to ensure better care for veterans in similar situations. It is a tragedy that it took Otieno’s death to bring the necessary changes, but hopefully this case serves as a reminder for all of us to ensure that our veterans are taken care of when they need it most.