Treated with hormone replacement therapy for 17 years


Navy 1970-1972 honorable discharge, female. Received med care from VA 1990 - present. Beginning 1997 I was placed on hormone replacement therapy, which is typically given for only 3-5 years. VA doctors kept me on it for 17 years. The HRT was Prempro. This med was found to be a direct cause of breast cancer PRIOR to 1997. Because the internet & computers were not available then and info about Prempro was hard to find until recently, I never knew there was a risk - and did not know the med should only be taken short-term. In 2018, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. No history in my family on either side of any kind of cancer. I feel certain the cancer was caused by my being on Prempro for 17 years. I would like to file a malpractice claim against the VA but have no idea what I need to do to make this happen. Under USMC Section 38, 1151 I think such a claim is possible; and I've been told I can have the assistance of an attorney in preparing t he initial claim (but cannot be represented during the hearing). If the claim is denied, then I can have an attorney represent me in appeal. But I have been unable to find any attorney willing to help. I live in central Oregon . Can you recommend an attorney who will actually step up and help? What do you advise in this situation? Thank you for your support!

Jim's Reply:

I'm sorry to say that I can't recommend a specific attorney to help as it sounds as if you've already talked with lawyers who have rejected your case. Medical malpractice lawyers aren't hard to find using a Google search. Sometimes when we think we have a medical malpractice case but we really don't, lawyers won't take our case because based on their professional knowledge and experience, they're sure that they won't be able to help you. While I understand that you may feel sure that your health issues were caused by a particular pattern of prescribing a particular medicine, proving that will be a steep challenge. You may want to seek the opinion of a physician first and if you are able to get corroboration in the medical community, a lawyer may be more interested. Good luck.