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Gregory Lee Smith Lawsuit

Gregory Lee Smith Lawsuit

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The family of Gregory Lee Smith alleges he died unnecessarily after being released too soon from VA Medical Center in Salt Lake City.
The family of Gregory Lee Smith alleges he died unnecessarily after being released too soon from VA Medical Center in Salt Lake City.

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Published by: The Salt Lake Tribune on Oct 16, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/13/2014

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 1Steve S. Christensen (U.S.B. No. 6156)ssc@ccplawyers.com Craig L. Pankratz (U.S.B. No. 12194)clp@ccplawyers.com 
C
HRISTENSEN
C
ORBETT
&
 
P
ANKRATZ
,
 
PLLC
 136 East South Temple, Suite 1400Salt Lake City, Utah 84111-3156Telephone: (801) 303-5800Facsimile: (801) 322-0594
 Attorneys for Plaintiff Gregory Lynn Smith
William B. Parsons III (U.S.B. No. 2535)Attorney at LawP.O. Box 22626Salt Lake City, Utah 84122Telephone: (801) 273-3905Facsimile: (801) 273-3906
 Attorney for Jeri Bolinder, Heir of Gregory Lee Smith
I
N THE
U
NITED
S
TATES
D
ISTRICT
C
OURT
 
IN AND FOR THE
D
ISTRICT OF
U
TAH
 
G
REGORY
L
YNN
S
MITH
,
 
on behalf of theEstate of Gregory Lee Smith and on behalf of the Heirs of Gregory Lee Smith,Plaintiff,vs.
U
NITED
S
TATES
D
EPARTMENT OF
V
ETERANS
A
FFAIRS
,Defendants.
C
OMPLAINT
 Case No. 2:12-cv-00968-BCWJudge Brooke C. Wells
(Jury Requested)
Plaintiff alleges and complains against the United States Department of Veterans Affairsas follows:
P
ARTIES
,
 
J
URISDICTION
,
 
V
ENUE
,
AND
C
OMPLIANCE WITH
P
RE
-
LITIGATION
R
EQUIREMENTS
 
1.
 
Plaintiff, Gregory Lynn Smith, is domiciled in the State of Utah.
 
Case 2:12-cv-00968-BCW Document 2 Filed 10/15/12 Page 1 of 17
 
 22.
 
Plaintiff is the father of Gregory Lee Smith ("Greg") and the personal representative of the Estate of Gregory Lee Smith.3.
 
Jeri Bolinder, formerly Jeri Smith, ("Jeri") is Greg's mother.4.
 
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs ("Defendant") is an administrativeagency of the United States of America.
 
5.
 
This Court has exclusive jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)(1).
 
6.
 
Venue is proper in this Court because the events or omissions giving rise to this actionoccurred exclusively within the Judicial District of Utah.7.
 
On February 9, 2012, Plaintiff served Defendant with two notices of claim under theFederal Tort Claims Act, one for the claims of the Estate of Gregory Lee Smith and one for theclaims of the heirs of Gregory Lee Smith.
 
8.
 
On April 9, 2012, Plaintiff served Defendant with an amended notice of claim under theFederal Tort Claims Act for the heirs of Gregory Lee Smith but did not amend the notice of claim served for the claims of the Estate of Gregory Lee Smith.9.
 
Six months have passed from the service of all notices of claims, and Defendant has notresponded to any of them.
 
10.
 
On March 6, 2012, Plaintiff requested a pre-litigation screening panel with Utah'sDivision of Occupational and Professional Licensing to comply with Utah's medical malpracticestatutes.
 
11.
 
On March 15, 2012, Defendant notified Plaintiff that it would not submit to the jurisdiction of Utah's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
 
Case 2:12-cv-00968-BCW Document 2 Filed 10/15/12 Page 2 of 17
 
 312.
 
On March 30, 2012, Utah's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing issued acertificate of compliance with Utah's medical malpractice pre-litigation statutory requirements.
 
G
ENERAL
A
LLEGATIONS
 
13.
 
Greg was born on July 3, 1980.14.
 
Greg served in the United States Army and received a medical discharge because of aback injury he suffered while serving his country.15.
 
Greg returned from his post to Utah.16.
 
To treat his back injury, doctors working for Defendant prescribed Greg excessiveamounts of pain killers.17.
 
Greg did not want the drugs.18.
 
Instead, Greg wanted his back fixed.19.
 
Greg's ultimate goal was to become a police officer once his back healed.20.
 
Prior to his death, Greg had been attending Salt Lake Community College and studyingcriminal justice.21.
 
To fix his back, Greg underwent three back surgeries at the VA Medical Center.22.
 
The first surgery was not successful.23.
 
The second surgery involved putting an electric stimulator in Greg's back.24.
 
Greg's back responded very well to the stimulator, but the surgery was only a test to see if his back would respond to a permanent stimulator.25.
 
Even though Greg's back responded well to the stimulator, Defendant denied his requestfor a permanent stimulator to be implanted in his back.
Case 2:12-cv-00968-BCW Document 2 Filed 10/15/12 Page 3 of 17

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