Federal prosecutors dealing with the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System case have decided to not press criminal charges with those involved in the deadly outbreak that sickened 16 veterans and resulted in five deaths. Officials high up in the Department of Veterans Affairs, however, may take action on administrators or other workers who failed to prevent the needless illnesses and deaths.
Although U.S. Attorney David Hickton said no criminal wrongdoing could be found, “many other issues raised by this tragic event will surely continue in other forums.”
“The fact that there was no criminality doesn’t mean there isn’t going to be any accountability,” added Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Forest Hills).
A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania congressmen have come together insisting that the Department of Veterans Affairs explain whether or not anyone will be held accountable for the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the outbreak likely began in February 2011; however, the VA did not announce the outbreak until Nov. 16, 2012. Further, it appears that high levels of Legionella bacteria were discovered in the hospital as far back as 2007.