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Massena woman files $2 million wrongful-death suit against VA hospital


MASSENA — A Massena woman has filed a $2 million wrongful-death lawsuit against the federal government in connection with her husband’s death at a veteran’s hospital in 2011.

Sandra Canfield, as administrator of the estate of her husband, Frank L. Canfield, filed action Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, against the United States of America, as operators of the Buffalo Veteran Administration Medical Center.

According to the suit, Mr. Canfield was a patient at the hospital July 19, 2011, undergoing open heart surgery. It is alleged that a coronary bypass machine was “connected incorrectly,” specifically “in reverse,” causing Mr. Canfield to sustain a right ventricle tear, resulting in his death.

The suit claims, among other things, that the death was a direct cause of hospital employees’ carelessness and negligence and that employees failed to follow proper procedures or protocols regarding the performance of a coronary bypass. It is further claimed that employees failed to properly and adequately follow up on Mr. Canfield’s care so as to timely recognize and respond to damage allegedly caused by the care. The action maintains that Mr. Canfield did not give his informed consent with respect to the course of care and treatment provided to him and that, had he been informed, he would not have agreed to the treatment provided.

Mrs. Canfield is represented in the action by Syracuse attorney Michael A. Bottar.

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