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Gable v. United States

United States District Court, District of Columbia

March 21, 2013

RICHARD MAURICE GABLE, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant

Page 144

RICHARD MAURICE GABLE, Plaintiff, Pro se, Mechanicsville, MD.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant: Peter Rolf Maier, LEAD ATTORNEY, Alan R. Burch, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

OPINION

ROSEMARY M. COLLYER, United States District Judge.

Page 145

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff Richard Maurice Gable, proceeding pro se, is a Vietnam War veteran who alleges that the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Washington, D.C. was negligent in treating him for what should have been a routine replacement of his left knee. According to Mr. Gable, he contracted an infection and required additional surgeries, including amputation of his left leg without his consent. Mr. Gable filed suit in the United States Court of Federal Claims, which transferred the case to this Court. The United States moves to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. For the following reason, the Court denies the motion to dismiss.

I. FACTS

The Court of Federal Claims succinctly summarized the facts underlying Mr. Gable's claim as follows:

In January 2006, Mr. Richard M. Gable, a veteran of the Vietnam War, entered the Department of Veterans Affairs (" DVA" ) Medical Center in Washington, D.C. (the " VA Medical Center" ) for replacement of his left knee. After his initial knee surgery, Plaintiff " came down with a very serious staph infection, which placed him in critical care[.]"
On August 23, 2006, a DVA doctor amputated Plaintiff's left leg, allegedly without consent. Because of the alleged negligence, two additional surgeries were required. The VA Medical Center also allegedly was negligent in providing Plaintiff with medical care and necessary medication. Moreover, Plaintiff allegedly was " tied to a bed, drugged, and not on the proper mental health medication[; ]" denied " a shower or bath for ten months and 19 days[; ]" and " placed in a recovery room without wheelchair access."
Plaintiff remained hospitalized until October 2006, when he was discharged from the VA Medical Center.
On September 16, 2008, Plaintiff filed an administrative claim with the DVA, pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, Pub. L. No. 79-601, § § 401-24, 60 Stat. 812 (1946) (" FTCA" ). On September 30, 2011, the DVA [Office of General Counsel] sent Plaintiff a Response to Request for Reconsideration, denying his claims for a lack of evidence and as untimely, under 28 U.S.C. § 2401(b) (2006) (requiring FTCA claims to be filed with a federal agency within two years " after such claim accrues" ).
The September 30, 2011 Decision advised Plaintiff that: " a tort claim that is administratively denied may be presented to a Federal district court for judicial consideration" and " such a suit must be initiated . . . within 6 months after the date ...

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