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Clarksburg VA Medical Center Faces Whistleblower Lawsuit After 8 Deaths

Published on Sep 4, 2020 at 10:23 am in In the News.

Gregory Bee, a timekeeper in the patient care services department at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, says he’s the whistleblower in the string of patient killings at the facility. Bee worked at the facility from 2015 until April 2019.

According to the lawsuit filed in the North District of West Virginia, Bee is alleging he was wrongfully suspended for reporting a number of suspicious deaths. He is seeking reinstatement of employment and to be back paid wages and compensatory damages, along with several other monetary compensations.

While he was employed at the VA, Bee was responsible for updating standard operating procedures in the patient care department. In August 2018, he was instructed by the hospital to amend various policies regarding insulin. This included the security, storage, and administration of insulin, as well as the language concerning hypoglycemia. At one point, Bee was pressed by a supervisor on why the changes were taking so long. Bee didn’t understand why the changes were so important and claims he was the only employee outside of upper management at the facility who knew about the changes.

Reta Mays, a nursing assistant who worked the nightshift at the Clarksburg VA hospital, pleaded guilty in July 2020 to killing at least eight military veterans by injecting them with insulin when it was not prescribed from July 2017 to June 2018.

Bee learned of the killings soon after he was told to make the insulin policy changes. In an attempt to alert the public to the deaths, he contacted news outlets, the office of the inspector general, and the office of Representative David McKinley, R-W.Va., during fall 2018. It wasn’t until February 2019 when Bee filed a complaint with the VA’s Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. According to the whistleblower lawsuit, that complaint is still pending.

Bee alleges hospital management knew Mays had killed those patients. At the same time the insulin policy changes were made, Mays was removed from patient care and transferred to the hospital mail room before being fired in April 2019. That same month, the hospital placed Bee on administrative leave without pay.

Robert Bastress III, of DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, is representing Bee. In regard to the matter, Bastress claims the facility failed to protect its patients: “It’s clear to me now that the upper management at the Clarksburg VA was more concerned about and prioritized protecting their reputation rather than trying to make amends for what happened and protecting future patients and staff from anything like this from ever happening again.”

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