An Arizona man who sued the Veterans Administration for providing substandard care after a nurse practitioner found abnormalities in his prostate was awarded $2.5 million by a judge on Monday, Independent Journal Review reports.
Steven Cooper, who served in the Army for 18 years, was diagnosed with stage-IV prostate cancer in 2012. A nurse practitioner who examined him 11 months earlier at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix didn't order additional tests or refer him to a urologist.
Following his diagnosis, Cooper, 46, sued the VA. His cancer is terminal and his life expectancy is five years, reports Fox Carolina.
"What my lawyers did very well was explain why veterans died in the urology department because of outdated policies, protocols and procedures," Cooper told the Associated Press. He later added, "I will fight to the day I die so that veterans have access to private doctors."
Lawyers for the VA said the nurse practitioner saw no other indications of possible cancer and noted that Cooper did not complain of urinary symptoms. Attorneys also argued that there was no way to know whether Cooper's cancer had spread since his first appointment.
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