Veteranclaims’s Blog

November 11, 2009

VA Settles Overdose Death Lawsuit of Marine Veteran

Full Article at: Family settles vet’s VA lawsuit
Government will pay $218,500 in fatal drug overdose case
Detroit News staff and wire reports

Detroit — The federal government has agreed to pay $218,500 to settle a lawsuit over the fatal drug overdose of a young Michigan veteran who served as a U.S. Marine in Iraq.

Randen Harvey died of an overdose in 2006 at his father’s home in Farmington Hills. His family sued the Department of Veterans Affairs, accusing it of failing to keep him in a hospital or commit him to a mental health facility.

The settlement was reached just a few days before trial in federal court in Detroit. “The experience in Iraq was horrific for this young fellow,” Thomas Campbell, a lawyer for Harvey’s estate, said Tuesday.

Harvey, 24, was honorably discharged as a lance corporal in November 2005. Five months later, according to the lawsuit, he attempted suicide and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

In June 2006, Harvey was found on the roof of the VA Medical Center in Ann Arbor. The lawsuit says he was discharged from a hospital program because of alcohol use and told to wait for substance-abuse treatment. He died three days later.

“Given the costs of trial and the uncertainties of trial, the government thought this was a reasonable resolution,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Croley said of the settlement.”

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