A California woman says Veterans Administration hospital guards beat her husband to death after he waited four hours for dialysis.
Norma Montano says her husband of 44 years, Jonathan, died of a stroke on June 11, 2011, after he was beaten and had his carotid artery stomped by VA guards. Montano says the hospital also lied to her about what happened to her husband.
Montano’s son and daughter are also plaintiffs in the suit.
Montano says he husband was tired of waiting, but when he tried to leave and go to another facility, he “was told by the nursing staff not to leave.”
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"Jonathan Montano told the nurse that he was leaving and was going to the VA Hospital in Long Beach, California, [and that] he wanted to leave the needle apparatus [a shunt] in his arm, so they wouldn't have to put a new one in at the Long Beach VA Hospital,” the complaint states.
When he insisted on leaving, the staff at the Loma Linda, Calif., facility called VA Police.
"The summoned VA Police Department police officers then stopped Jonathan Montano from leaving the VA Hospital in Loma Linda, by tackling him to the floor, slamming his head on the floor, and kneeing and stomping on his neck, and otherwise brutalizing and restraining him,” the suit says.
"This kneeing and stomping on his neck by the VA Police Department police officers caused the dissection of his carotid artery, that resulted in immediate (or very soon thereafter) blood clotting, which resulted in [his] suffering a stroke,” it says. “Moreover, the brutalization of Jonathan Montano resulted in him suffering other serious physical injuries, and associated physical, mental and emotional pain, suffering and distress."
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Her husband had sent her to get the car and Norma Montano sat outside during the struggle wondering where he was. She finally went inside and "she was told by a member of the nursing staff that Jonathan Montano suffered a stroke.”
An ER doctor told her "that her husband had fallen down and suffered a stroke, an untrue statement.”
According to the suit, it was the nursing staff that eventually pulled her aside and told her that her husband “didn't fall, but was slammed to the ground by the VA Police, that Norma Montano was being lied to, and that it wasn't right what the VA Police did to Jonathan Montano.”
The suit comes after news that VA hospitals have been covering up long waiting periods for veterans.
The Montano family seeks damages and punitive damages for wrongful death, assault and battery, false imprisonment, constitutional violations, negligence, loss of consortium and intentional infliction of emotional distress.