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Sen. Manchin Demands Answers After Visiting W. Va. Medical Center Where Westmoreland Co. Vet's Death Was Ruled A Homicide

CLARKSBURG, W. Va. (KDKA) - U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is demanding answers after he visited the West Virginia medical facility where 11 veterans died under suspicious circumstances.

Sen. Manchin toured the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Clarksburg on Friday.

After visiting the hospital and talking to veterans and the staff, Sen. Manchin said in a press release that he was frustrated with the lack of answers.

"All of the facts will come out and no one in the VA system will be protected if they had any involvement in this horrible crime against Veterans," he said in the same press release.

"We owe every Veteran the best possible care they've earned. As a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, I will do everything in my power to get to the bottom of this."

According to the press release, Sen. Manchin and his office started investigating in July of last year when they were notified by the VA Inspector General that at least nine patients at the hospital had been diagnosed with low blood sugar, the cause unclear.

The Louis A. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center is is now under federal investigation by U.S. Attorney Bill Powell, the FBI and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

A claim filed last week by the family of Amry veteran and Westmoreland County native Sergeant Felix McDermott alleged he was injected with a fatal overdose of insulin.

An autopsy report revealed he had received an insulin shot in the left side of his abdomen, although McDermott was not diabetic and had no history of insulin use.


The family's attorney, Tony O'Dell, said the McDermotts entrusted their father — a 20-year army veteran — in the care of the center.

O'Dell provided KDKA with a legal document sent to the hospital, claiming the 82-year-old may not have been the only victim

His family is seeking up to $5 million in a wrongful death lawsuit, and $1 million more for personal injuries and funeral costs.

Authorities say there is a person of interest in the case, but no arrests have been made.

The claim states that employees at the hospital never told McDermott's family how he died.

His death was ruled a homicide.

"I want to be careful that I don't say something that impairs their investigation or might adversely affect the decision they're making," said Dr. Glenn Snider of the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center.

Investigators are also looking into at least 10 other patients who died under similar circumstances.

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