McGinn Montoya Love & Curry’s representation of a family searching for answers after their loved one was fatally struck by a van outside a VA hospital has been covered in the media.
As reported by KOB4 News, our firm currently represents the family of Fred Gardner in their quest to find answers about and accountability for the events leading up to and surrounding the 87-year-old Air Force veteran’s death after he was violently struck while walking in a crosswalk by a vehicle driven by a VA employee. The tragedy occurred on May 31 when Gardner, who served in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, was fatally struck in a crosswalk just outside the Raymond G. Murphy Medical Center in Albuquerque by a VA transport van that ran a stop sign and a yield sign.
Since the tragedy, the Gardner family has been met with nothing but resistance from the VA in their effort to obtain meaningful details about their loved one’s death, and to date have only received less than half of a heavily redacted police report from the VA Police and approximately 10 minutes of surveillance footage. The limited records showed that the driver of the transport van was issued three traffic tickets, but the driver’s name and the names of all witnesses were redacted.
As reported by KOB4, Partner Elicia Montoya and our firm are now helping the family find answers as to why the VA has been unwilling to furnish details about Mr. Gardner’s death and is working to bring justice for the family.
As Elicia noted, it’s inexcusable that the VA, an agency created to provide essential healthcare services and support to U.S. servicemembers, has chosen to protect itself over a veteran who served and sacrificed for his country:
“No veteran who served his or her country should have their lives endangered by simply going to their doctors’ appointments. The VA should have ensured that veterans coming and going from the VA Hospital were safe. It chose not to do so, and Mr. Gardner lost his life as a result.
After causing his untimely death, the VA not only refused to provide the family with information about his death, but it has continued to allow this area to remain unsafe by, as far as has been shown, choosing not to take any steps to prevent this from happening again.”
In addition to disputing the redactions and the VA’s failure to release other evidence, Elicia and our firm have called attention to the three tickets issued to the van driver by the VA Police – two of which have a fine of $25, equivalent to a citation for “spitting on the street.” For the family, the refusal to provide answers has made their suffering even worse.
“The VA has also misled and hidden critical and important facts from the family as they have simply tried to learn what happened to their dad. Again, those at the VA are protecting themselves and not those they are supposed to be serving,” Montoya said.
Elicia and our team will continue to help the Gardner family as they fight for transparency and answers as well as the justice they deserve.
You can watch the full KOB4 investigative segment about the case here.
McGinn Montoya Love & Curry is an Albuquerque-based trial practice known nationally for handling complex and high-stakes claims. Led by some of the most respected plaintiffs’ attorneys in the nation, we’ve recovered record results in a range of personal injury and wrongful death cases, including those involving government agency liability.