10th Settlement Reached In West Virginia VA Hospital Deaths

Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center

The federal government agreed to a 10th settlement for suspicious deaths at a West Virginia veterans hospital where a former nursing assistant admitted to intentionally giving seven patients unprescribed insulin injections.

A court filing shows the family of Charles Dean will receive $625,000, according to The Exponent Telegram. He died in 2017 at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg.

Dean’s family and attorneys said the death was “due to injuries he suffered when he was wrongfully injected with insulin due to multiple system failures by the employees and administration” at the hospital.

Fired staffer Reta Mays, 46, is expected to be sentenced next week on seven counts of second-degree murder and one charge for assault with intent to commit murder, according to the newspaper. She was not charged in Dean’s death.

Former U.S. attorney Bill Powell said there were about 20 suspicious deaths at the medical center during the time Mays worked there, but charges were only brought in cases where the government thought it had sufficient evidence.

Mays, of Reynoldsville, pleaded guilty in July to killing the seven patients with fatal doses of insulin while she worked overnight shifts at the northern West Virginia hospital between 2017 and 2018. She faces life sentences for each killing.

The VA is the government’s second-largest department, responsible for 9 million military veterans. The agency’s former director was fired in 2018 in the wake of a bruising ethics scandal and a mounting rebellion within the agency, and the doctor who then-President Donald Trump nominated to replace him had to withdraw his nomination amid accusations of misconduct.