Federal government responds to 2 lawsuits related to veteran deaths at Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center

West Virginia

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The federal government has filed responses to two lawsuits involving the deaths of two veterans at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg.

Felix McDermott

The first lawsuit was filed by Melanie Proctor on behalf of her father, Felix McDermott, who died in April 2018. The other lawsuit was filed by Norma Shaw, widow of George Shaw Sr., who also died in April 2018.

In the McDermott case, the United States of America offers 18 defenses to the claims made in that lawsuit. Among other things, the government argues that Reta Mays, who pleaded guilty July 14 to seven counts of murder in the deaths of veterans at the VAMC, including McDermott and George Shaw Sr., “acted outside the scope of her employment and that the United States is not liable for the criminal misconduct.”

George Shaw Sr.

Further, the response states that “the acts complained of in the Complaint were the proximate result of the negligence of others and not this defendant.” The government also asserts that the plaintiff’s claims are barred because she “failed to exhaust her administrative remedies under the Federal Tort Claims Act.”

Similarly, the response to the lawsuit involving George Shaw Sr. has 18 defenses, and its arguments against the claims are identical, besides any case-specific details.

To this point, five lawsuits have been filed related to the deaths of veterans at the VAMC in Clarksburg.

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