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MIAMI — An Air Force veteran and his wife have won a combined $1.25 million lawsuit against the U.S. government because he likely contracted hepatitis C at the Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center.
U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan ruled Wednesday that the center's staff didn't properly clean colonoscopy equipment, probably causing 70-year-old Robert Metzler's infection. The Miami Herald reports that Metzler and his wife, Lucy Ann Metzler, had sought $30 million.
A Veterans Affairs Department investigation showed that more than 11,000 veterans received colonoscopies with improperly cleaned equipment between 2004 and 2009 at VA hospitals in Miami, Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Augusta, Ga.
Metzler received his colonoscopy in 2007. He had tested negative for hepatitis C the previous year but tested positive in 2009.
Hepatitis C can cause severe liver damage.