President Donald Trump’s administration is expected to pay out $1 billion for a $5 billion class-action lawsuit filed by a patient’s family over a 2014 medical malnourishment.
The lawsuit, filed in California in 2017, alleged that the Trump administration had violated federal law by failing to adequately treat the patient and also that the government’s failure to compensate affected families led to the death of the patient.
In a court filing Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services acknowledged that it would pay out the $1,500,000.
The department has been seeking $10 million for the family since the case was filed.
It also said it was investigating whether other patients have been denied benefits because of the lack of medical care.
The suit also alleges that the federal government did not adequately investigate the medical malady and that the Department’s response to the patient’s condition had been inadequate.
“The government’s response has been woefully inadequate, and that’s why the family is filing this lawsuit,” said attorney Stephen L. Schwartz of the Law Offices of Stephen L Schwartz in San Francisco.
“This is the first time that we’ve seen a federal agency in this situation.
It’s just incredible that they haven’t taken steps to hold accountable the government.”
Schwartz said that the case could take years to resolve.
“We’re trying to figure out how the family will recover,” he said.
“There’s no question that this has been a long and painful process.”
The lawsuit seeks damages for wrongful death, wrongful injury, negligence and violation of the Family Medical Leave Act, according to a news release from the Department.
The Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Agency officials have defended the medical care the patient received.
In an interview with ABC News, then-Health and Human Resources Secretary David Shulkin said the government “did everything it could” to help the patient recover, including providing the family with “medical and mental health care,” and “providing adequate food and nutrition for the patient.”
He added that the family was “absolutely confident” the agency would do the same.
The government paid the family $6.7 million for its medical care, including for their care in an inpatient unit, $7.5 million for medical care in the outpatient department, and $2.5 billion in medical benefits.
Schwens said that’s “more than the average family” would be able to pay in a year.
He said that if a family member had to go without care for a year, that family member could still recover if they sued.