TOMAH VA target of WRONGFUL DEATH lawsuit

Two years after a Stevens Point man died of a drug overdose while being treated at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center, his wife filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government.

Jason Simcakoski died Aug. 30, 2014 while being treated at the Tomah VA’s Community Living Center for mental health issues, according to the lawsuit. Simcakoski’s wife, Heather Simcakoski of Stevens Point, filed the lawsuit Monday Aug. 29 in U.S. District Court in Madison.

Heather Simcakoski tells City Pages she hopes the lawsuit will help hold the VA accountable for her husband’s death while improving the overall care for veterans.

The Tomah VA has been under fire after a report found that opioid painkillers, which played a role in Jason Simcakoski’s death, were being overprescribed by doctors at the facility. Following the incident, the facility’s chief of staff was fired and its medical director was reassigned.

The lawsuit alleges that the VA failed to diagnose and treat Jason Simcakoski properly and has not taken responsibility for the family’s loss, despite assurances to the contrary. “The VA has failed to follow its words with deeds,” the complaint reads.

Future court dates have not yet been set.