Family of Marine who died at Wisconsin VA hospital reaches $2.3M settlement


The government has reached a $2.3 million settlement with survivors of a Marine veteran who died of a drug overdose at the troubled Wisconsin Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Court papers filed Friday say about $1.65 million would go upfront to the widow and daughter of Jason Simcakoski, of Stevens Point, Wis., who was 35 when he died in 2014 at the Tomah VA facility. Another $659,000 would go into annuities for Simcakoski’s widow, Heather, and their daughter, Anaya. The rest would go to attorney fees and expenses.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported Saturday that a federal judge will hold a hearing Wednesday on whether to approve the settlement.

Simcakoski’s death led to the firing of the Tomah VA’s chief of staff, Dr. David Houlihan, who agreed this past January to surrender his medical license permanently. The former head of the center, Mario DeSanctis, was fired in 2015 but fought his dismissal and eventually was allowed to resign, USA Today reported earlier this month. He and his lawyer were paid $163,000, it said.


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